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Wigan Welcomes The New High Sheriff of Greater Manchester
Saturday 26th March, 2005

Wigan Welcomes The New High Sheriff of Greater Manchester
High Sheriff: Sir David Wilmot

One of the country's most successful and highly decorated police officers will make history next month when he takes on a new 'peace-keeping' role.

Former Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Sir David Wilmot will be officially named as the new High Sheriff of Greater Manchester during a ceremony at Wigan Town Hall on Wednesday April 6.

And in doing so, he will become the first former Chief Constable to hold the title in its more than a thousand year history.

The High Sheriff is appointed as an official Keeper of The Queen's Peace in a county, although today the role is mainly ceremonial and charitable.

Sir David's official installation will come after the Queen, in an ancient ritual, pricks his name in a piece of parchment with a bodkin (blunt needle-like instrument).

The former Chief Constable, who as commander of the Manchester force oversaw a hugely successful Commonwealth Games in the city in 2002 is already relishing his new role.

Sir David said: "It is a great honour and I look forward to making further contributions to the community."

During his year of office Sir David will be actively involved with a range of charitable activities especially those supporting law an order as well as the traditional role of the judiciary.

The unpaid post of High Sheriff involves being the main point of contact in the county for visiting judges, escorting members of the royal family on visits to Greater Manchester and attending high profile events.

Sir David, who along with wife Ann enjoys travelling in his spare time, said: "During my years of service with the police force I have got to know the 10 areas of Greater Manchester very well and it will be my pleasure and privilege to represent the entire county in an official capacity.

"The High Sheriff is a fine and well-established tradition and it is particularly pleasing for me to become the first of a kind by being the only former Chief Constable to take on the role."

Mayor of Wigan Cllr John Hilton, who will play host to Sir David during his installation, said: "We are delighted that Sir David has chosen the town as the venue for the ceremony. We think it is fitting that Wigan with all its heritage, has been chosen for an event of such historical importance.

"We wish Sir David well during his year of office. He was an outstanding police officer and we're sure he'll be an outstanding High Sheriff."

There is a High Sheriff for each county in England and Wales. Formerly the High Sheriff was the principal law enforcement officer in the county, but now the only significant legal function relates to the enforcement of High Court writs.

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