It is an honour and privilege to serve as High Sheriff, following in the footsteps of many distinguished Sheriffs before me, going back over 1000 years. I am greatly looking forward to my year and to doing my best to make a worthwhile contribution to our wonderful county of Hampshire.
My first priority during my year as High Sheriff is to support all aspects of the judicial system. This will include welcoming the High Court judges who come to the Winchester Crown Courts and supporting the other Judges who are based in Portsmouth and Southampton as well as Winchester. Most importantly, I want to show my appreciation for the 200+ magistrates who serve on the front line of our judicial system. They are all volunteers, giving freely of their time and expertise, and frequently putting in many, many years of community service.
During my time with the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation, I have been privileged to meet many charitable organisations supporting those in need across our county. Most of Hampshire is a prosperous and glorious place to live, however we still have pockets of severe deprivation and not only in our inner-city communities. A second aspiration of my year will be to highlight the wonderful work done by so many dedicated people across our county to help those in serious need.
As I write, Hampshire Constabulary has just appointed Ms Olivia Pinkney as the new Hampshire Chief Constable. My congratulations to her and my best wishes to Andy Marsh for his move to Devon and Somerset. Hampshire Constabulary has been extremely generous in allowing me to explore my third interest, which is some particular aspects of cyber-crime. Cyber-crime is a huge and growing field, it covers international espionage and the continuous attacks on our financial institutions and credit cards. It also includes the vulnerabilities of young people who are now supported by the official school curriculum and how to stay safe on line. My particular concern is the vulnerability of some of our charities, the elderly, the disadvantaged and those who may not be reached by the programmes running in schools and universities. As part of my year I hope to raise awareness of these issues and the steps we can all take to protect ourselves against cyber-crime.