In March each year, the Queen appoints a new High Sheriff in Surrey. In theory, this man or woman is the Sovereign's legal representative in the county. In practice, today it is largely a ceremonial role, but one of the oldest in the land, dating back to Anglo-Saxon times (the name then was 'Shire Reeve'). The 21st century High Sheriff seeks to support individuals and organisations that uphold the criminal justice system, notably Her Majesty’s Judges.
The High Sheriff has had historic links with law and order since the 10th century. That's what makes the High Sheriff Youth Awards so important today. They recognise that young people themselves play a key role in helping reduce crime and bad behaviour. By applying for an award to make your community in Surrey safer, you are continuing over 1,000 years of tradition.
The High Sheriff of Surrey for 2016-2017 is Mr Richard Whittington. The badge he wears shows a green star with 11 points, one for each borough or district in the county. During his year, Richard Whittington will actively promote the work of the High Sheriff Youth Awards throughout the county and the support that our charity gives to projects that help young people make Surrey safer. Additionally, Mr Whittington’s priority will to help to promote openings and opportunities for young people to gain experience in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields either in apprenticeships, work placements or internships.
When members of the Royal Family come to Surrey to visit people, projects and places, Richard Whittington is one of those who welcome them. The historic Service for the Judiciary in October is one of many ceremonial duties during his year as High Sheriff. Wearing a distinctive and traditional High Sheriff's uniform, he leads a procession of Her Majesty's judges and magistrates through the centre of Guildford, so maintaining links with law and order in Surrey that go back more than ten centuries.
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