The Office of High Sheriff is over 1,000 years old. It is the oldest continuous Office under the Crown, having its roots in Saxon times before the Norman Conquest, and predating the formation of Parliament and Magna Carta.
The High Sheriff remains the Sovereign’s representative in the County for all matters relating to the Judiciary and the maintenance of law and order.
It is the High Sheriff's duty to attend at Royal visits to the County.
The High Sheriff is also the Returning Officer for Parliamentary Elections within the county and is responsible for the Proclamation of the accession of a new Sovereign.
A major part of the High Sheriff’s role is to stand for the rule of law. His contemporary focus on Crime Prevention and on safer community programmes is therefore a natural development of this historic role and is entirely relevant to the needs of today’s society.
High Sheriffs work to improve and sustain the morale of personnel in voluntary and statutory bodies, particularly those associated with the maintenance of law and order.
The office is independent and strictly non-political.
High Sheriffs do not get paid, nor do they pass on their expenses. The office is regarded as an opportunity to serve the county and its community, and a chance for an individual to 'give something back' to society.
High Sheriffs hold office for one year only.