THE new High Sheriff of Hampshire was sworn in at a ceremony at the Great Hall in Winchester

Jon Whitaker has assumed the honorary role, replacing Amelia Riviere. 

Mr Whitaker was born and educated in Devon and after leaving college moved to Hampshire, he took up the position of management trainee with Sainsburys in 1985. 

He completed a post graduate diploma in personnel management and held a number of roles in the company’s training and HR division before retiring after 33 years, when he established an consultancy advising small businesses and undertaking executive coaching.

Mr Whitaker has always been interested in volunteering and community work. He qualified as a swimming and lifesaving teacher and spent many years assessing and examining at a national level with the Royal Life Saving Society. He also served with the Royal Observer Corps based at RAF Odiham and is currently a reservist with the Army in a specialist mentoring and coaching role. He is a strong supporter of ex-service charities, in particular the Royal British Legion and RAF Association.

READ MORE: Winchester-based AI Fit shortlisted for UK StartUp Award

Hampshire Chronicle: Jon Whitaker

He has been a magistrate for 27 years in Hampshire, in both youth and adult courts and on appeals in the crown court. Appointed a deputy lieutenant in 2023, he is currently the chair/honorary HR advisor to the Hampshire Scout Advisory Committee, head of Hampshire and IOW Freemasons, and county president of Hampshire St John Ambulance. 

The high sheriff is the Sovereign’s representative in the county for all matters relating to the judiciary and the maintenance of law and order. 

An independent, voluntary unpaid, non-political royal appointment that lasts for one year, its origins date back to Saxon times, when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible for maintaining law and order within the shire, or county. 

While historically the role also involved collecting taxes due to the Crown, high sheriffs today typically support crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and the voluntary sector, as well as the Lord Lieutenant on royal visits.

Mr Whitaker said: “It is such an honour to be able to take on the role of High Sheriff of Hampshire. I am looking forward to my year in office enormously, and it will be an absolute privilege for me not only to represent the Crown in our county, but also to be able to support those who work and volunteer within law and order in our communities across Hampshire. It is my intention to have ‘Youth and Service’ as my theme for my year.”