A new high sheriff has been appointed for Dorset.

Colin Weston MBE JP was appointed as the new High Sheriff of Dorset on Sunday, March 26.

The office is an independent and non-political position appointed by the monarchy for a single-year term.

The high sheriff is the King’s representative in the county in all things related to the legal system including people and organisations connected to the courts, prisons, police, fire service, ambulance, and voluntary organisations.

Mr Weston’s interest in law enforcement began when he served as a customs officer in Southampton Magistrates Court with a number of smuggling cases.

In 1984 he moved to a post at Weymouth Customs where he worked in several deployments, including the Customs Cutters patrolling the UK coastline looking for drug smugglers.

In 1991 he became a magistrate on the Weymouth and Portland Bench and in 2015 he became chairman of the new Dorset Bench.

His most recent role was also as leadership magistrate for the south west, where he oversaw nine local justice areas, 21 courthouses and more than 1,500 magistrates.

Mr Weston says: “The main reasons we see people before us in court is often because of addiction, coercion, desperation or greed and so it is important that we try to break that cycle and help them stop reoffending. We must also remember to support the victims and the witnesses.

“To do that all agencies and charities associated with law and order need to ‘Help one another’. During my time as High Sheriff, I not only want to support, encourage and thank those working in law enforcement and the emergency services but encourage others to help break that cycle of offending”.

Established before the Norman conquest of 1066, the role of the High Sheriff was established by royal appointment, and in contemporary times, plays an active role in supporting work being done across the county, both in areas of emergency services as well as public sector bodies such as probation and prison services.