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Duties & Responsibilites

The principal formal duties of High Sheriffs today include attendance at royal visits in the County and support for His Majesty’s High Court Judges when on Circuit.


However, these days High Sheriffs play an increasingly active and supportive role within their Counties both in relation to the Police and emergency services and in lending encouragement to public sector agencies such as the probation and prison services and to voluntary sector organisations involved in crime reduction and social cohesion. 

The holder of the Office of High Sheriff can be well placed to offer encouragement to those in their county who are engaged in supporting the voluntary sector and those most in need. Many High Sheriffs give their own personal awards to individuals, often unsung heroes within small voluntary groups, who have made an outstanding contribution in some way.  As the Office is independent and non-political, High Sheriffs are able to bring together a wide range of people with the community they serve.

High Sheriffs are volunteers and no part of the expenses related to the year fall on the public purse.

Each will approach their year slightly differently depending on their particular skills, experience and their own areas of interest.

The key objectives of the role can be summarised as follows:

  • To uphold and enhance the ancient Office of High Sheriff and to make a meaningful contribution to the High Sheriff’s county during the year of Office

  • To lend active support to the principal organs of the Constitution within their county – the Royal Family, the Judiciary, the Police and other law enforcement agencies, the emergency services, local authorities, and church and faith groups

  • To ensure the welfare of visiting High Court Judges, to attend on them at Court and to offer them hospitality

  • To support the Lord-Lieutenant on royal visits and on other occasions as appropriate

  • To take an active part in supporting and promoting the voluntary sector and giving all possible encouragement to the voluntary organisations within a county.

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