A ‘distinguished’ former police officer has been appointed as the new High Sheriff of Somerset.

Rob Beckley, a former chief police officer, was formally appointed to the role in a ceremony in Wells Cathedral on Sunday, March 17.

Mr Beckley will serve as the King’s representative in the county over matters of law and order, and will provide support to the judiciary, law enforcement and other community groups in Somerset.

Mr Beckley began his policing career in 1986 in the Met Police as a junior officer before rising through the ranks to become a chief superintendent in Buckinghamshire and later a chief officer in Hertfordshire.

In 2013 Mr Beckley is understood to have helped set up the College of Policing, which is the organisation responsible for setting professional standards in the police force.

In 2016 Mr Beckley 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, demonstrating his commitment to justice and accountability.

Commenting on his appointment Mr Beckley said it was “a privilege” to take up the role. He 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.”