The Role of High Sheriff

High Sheriffs represent the Sovereign in their counties in upholding all matters relating to the Judiciary and maintaining law and order, tasks in practice principally delegated to the Chief Constable of Police. Their responsibilities conferred by the Crown through warrant from the Privy Council can be summarised as:-

The High Sheriff 2009 Rose Her Majesty The Queen receiving an arrangement of High Sheriff 2009 roses at The Chelsea Flower Show

Following the Courts Act 2003, the High Sheriff's ancient responsibility for the enforcement of High Court Writs of Execution, via Under Sheriffs and executed by the Sheriff's officers, was transferred to newly-appointed High Court enforcement officers.

At the annual nomination ceremony on 12th November in the Royal Courts of Justice, three names are put forward for the office of High Sheriff in each county. Subsequently, the selection of a new High Sheriff is made from these names in March each year in the Privy Council by the Sovereign who, by ancient custom, pricks a hole beside the appointed name with a bodkin. High Sheriffs are nominated by the current High Sheriff, acting through a consultative panel comprising past High Sheriffs and influential people outside the Shrievalty in each county.

Today, High Sheriffs aim to support voluntary and statutory bodies engaged in all aspects of law and order. They take a special interest in the activities of such statutory bodies as the police, the prison service and the probation service. Under the Criminal Law Act 1826, they are required to give monetary awards to people who, in the opinion of Judges at a criminal trial, have been active in the apprehension of specific offenders.

Meeting other High Sheriffs - A posse of High Sheriffs at the National Arboretum

Supporting the Northampton Saints

Supporting the Saints - the genuine article!