“I am immensely honoured to be appointed High Sheriff by Her Majesty the Queen. The Office of High Sheriff of Derbyshire has existed for over a thousand years and has been held by many illustrious and well-known citizens of the County, whose legacy lives on in our beautiful landscape, our industrial heritage, and our civic life. As a humble Derbyshire lad, it is a privilege to have my name added to that list.

In my professional life I had the great honour of representing our county as its Chief Constable, and now to be able to serve the county in the Office of High Sheriff is, for me and my family, something unique and very special indeed.

During the year of office, each High Sheriff has a unique opportunity to encourage and promote all kinds of good work and achievement that is going on throughout the city and county, and I want to spend my year building upon the excellent work done by my predecessors.”

The principal role of the High Sheriff is best summarised as follows:

  • To uphold and enhance the ancient Office of High Sheriff and make a meaningful contribution to Derbyshire during the course of the year of Office.
  • To lend active support to the principal organs of the Constitution within Derbyshire - the Royal Family, the Judiciary, the Police and other law-enforcement agencies, the emergency services, local authorities, and all recognised church and faith groups.
  • To ensure the welfare of the Judiciary; to attend on them at Court and to offer them hospitality
  • To support the Lord-Lieutenant on royal visits and on other occasions as appropriate
  • To take an active part in supporting and promoting voluntary organisations within Derbyshire.

In addition to the responsibilities above, my priorities during the year will be;

  • To visit as many parts of the county as possible, encouraging local enterprise, voluntary groups, sporting and cultural activities, and charities
  • To draw public attention to achievement in Derbyshire, whether it be individual, or by groups or businesses
  • To encourage good citizenship, particularly amongst young people 
  • To improve understanding of minority communities and promote their integration into the local community

David Coleman Background

David was installed as High Sheriff at Derby Magistrates Court, in the Shire Hall at St. Mary’s Gate, Derby, on 3rd April 2014.

David was born in Belper, and grew up in Ripley, attending Swanwick Hall Grammar School and later, the University of Manchester, where he read Geography. Following the award of his degree in 1975 he joined Derbyshire Constabulary as a Constable and served in various roles and ranks, both uniform and detective, in Shirebrook, Staveley, Chesterfield, Clay Cross, Headquarters, and Derby, before becoming Divisional Commander of Derby Division. In 1996, he was appointed Assistant Chief Constable (Operations) for Leicestershire Constabulary, with responsibility for all facets of operational policing, including community policing, crime investigation, including homicide and major crime, counter-terrorism, firearms, specialist operations, and public order policing. He was a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Emergency Procedures Committee, specialising in Major Incident Contingency Planning, and was also Vice-Chair of the ACPO Race and Community Relations Committee, where he led nationally on Stop and Search policy.

In 2001, David returned to Derbyshire Constabulary as Chief Constable, where he served until his retirement in 2007. He became ACPO national lead for Forensic Sciences in 2001, and was Chairman of the National DNA Database Board for 4 years. Later he led the police service response to the privatised forensics market. He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 2004. Since retirement in 2007, he has at various times been an Independent Advisor to the Forensic Science Service, and an Associate Director of the Lanner Group, specialising in improving police business efficiency. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Derbyshire in 2007.

David’s wife Hilary, formerly a nurse, is also a local girl, hailing from Codnor. They met in 1970 and married in 1974, so will be celebrating their Ruby Wedding during the year. They have two sons and two grandsons.

David enjoys hill walking, golf, gardening, and occasionally, sampling real ales! He has recently taken up inshore sailing and is now qualified as a Coastal Skipper. 

He is President of the Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation, a Trustee of the Derbyshire Community Foundation, a Trustee of Sporting Futures, and Patron of Umbrella, a Derby-based charity providing support to parents of children with disabilities, and will be supporting these charities during his year of office.

He is supported in his year of office by the Under-Sheriff, Andrew Cochrane of Flint Bishop LLP