Sarah Le May. The year in office 2019 – 2020

Sarah Le May

My hopes for my year in office

The role of High Sheriff has evolved over more than 1000 years but remains inextricably linked to the support of the delivery of law and order in the county in all its forms

In Hampshire, we are fortunate to have local courts at all levels. Winchester’s historic position as a former capital of England is still reflected in the importance of its Crown Court. As the High Sheriff’s duty was traditionally to protect the High Court Judges as they travelled round the County, I shall look forward to welcoming the visiting High Court Judges and to showing them more of our wonderful county. At the same time, I shall spend time supporting the Magistrates and the other parts of the local judiciary who together handle the vast proportion of criminal cases.

Today our judiciary, police, probation and prison services would struggle to function without the support of a wide range of voluntary support organisations. To borrow from a recent speech by our Chief Fire Officer in Hampshire, Neil Odin, “There are more ways to achieve a public outcome than just by putting public servants to work”.

We are enormously lucky to have some amazing volunteers who help in so many ways to ensure we continue to live in a safe community. I hope, through the Community Foundation, to give a voice to some of the smaller charities that do such important work in these fields and to meet with as many of these groups as possible during my year in office. Whilst my predecessor, Mark Thistlethwayte, concentrated on the areas of re-offending and the Prison Service, I intend to focus on early intervention, where the aim is to prevent the offending or its escalation to more serious levels, whether at the youth, adult or family court.