A HIGHLY respected figure in law enforcement is stepping into the role of High Sheriff of Somerset.

Rob Beckley is retiring from the police service after a successful 38-year career.

His appointment as High Sheriff was formally declared in Wells Cathedral at the annual Somerset Legal Service on March 17,  2024.

Rob takes over from Robbie Drewett.

During his time as High Sheriff, Rob, who lives in Pitminster, will promote greater community participation in the community and voluntary services across Somerset.

The first High Sheriff of Somerset was appointed in 1061. To modern day, the High Sheriff remains an important figure in the county, playing a vital role in supporting the judiciary, law enforcement, and voluntary and charitable community organisations in Somerset. 

Some of Rob's achievements includes working in education and development in Africa, working as chief superintendent in Buckinghamshire and earning the Queen's Police Medal, to name a few.

Rob also spearheaded national initiatives aimed at increasing volunteering in policing.

His vision, known as Citizens in Policing, revitalised community participation and set a national standard, with volunteer numbers in policing reaching over 30,000 nationwide. In this period, he was honoured for his work with local charities by being appointed a Member of the Order of St John.

He also set up the College of Policing, an organisation responsible for setting up professional standards and practices for police officers.

In 2016, Rob was appointed as a Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner and Advisor to the Home Secretary, with the principal responsibility of leading criminal and disciplinary investigations into the Hillsborough disaster.

Rob, who is married to Consultant Pathologist Sue, is a proud father to three sons.

He is also a avid cyclist and a supporter of many local charities.

Speaking about his new role as High Sheriff of Somerset, Rob said: "It is a tremendous honour to be entrusted with this responsibility. 

"I am committed to upholding the values of justice, integrity, and community service that the Office of High Sheriff represents.

"I am privileged to do my bit to support people in Somerset, especially those who give up their time voluntarily to help others.”