A Sunderland man has begun his term as the High Sheriff of Durham with the promise of helping to steer youngsters away from crime.
Doctor Stephen Cronin was installed in a ceremony on the steps of Durham Crown Court, led by Judge Christopher Prince.
Grangetown-born Stephen was joined by his family as he was appointed to the office, which can be traced back to the Saxon times, when a Shire Reeve was responsible to the king for the law and order and the collection of taxes.
Now it focuses on helping crime agencies, emergency services and voluntary organisations.
He said: “The theme of our year is trying to help with youth offending, trying to help kids who are at risk of offending, giving them something purposeful to do and to help those who have offended to get themselves jobs, careers, just another option.
“There are lots of good things happening in Durham, we just want to make it even better.”
There are lots of good things happening in Durham, we just want to make it even better.Stephen Cronin
The 59-year-old, whose family is well-known in Wearside through the Edward Thompson Group printing firm, has spent his career in medicine caring for children.
Stephen, who lives in County Durham, will retire next month from roles including the designated doctor for child protection in County Durham and consultant paediatrician at the University Hospital of North Durham.
His recent roles have included associate medical director of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and consultant paediatrician and clinical lead for women and children’s services for South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust.