A police chief who retired from work last week was found dead at his Kibworth Harcourt home this morning. Leicestershire Police today announced the death of their former police chief Simon Cole, 55. Interim Police Chief Rob Nixon said Simon was loved and respected by the entire force and “it’s hard to put into words how devastating the news is”.
“Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time and we will do everything we can to support them,” he said.
“I know Simon had a huge impact on many communities in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and his passing will be a huge loss for the many who worked with him. “All we can do is pull ourselves together and mourn the loss of a respected person.”
Simon Cole, who grew up in Leicestershire, has been with the force for 30 years and is Britain’s longest serving police chief, taking office in June 2010.
Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: “I am deeply saddened by the passing of former police chief Simon Cole QPM.
“He was passionate about the people of Leicestershire where he grew up and dedicated his life to the police force.”
Rupert Matthews, Police and Crime Inspector for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, said: “I am shocked and deeply saddened to hear this tragic news.
“Simon Cole epitomizes a great police chief with an unwavering commitment to public service. We live in a safer place thanks to his guidance.”
Harbourough MP Neil O’Brien tweeted: “Simon is a dedicated and dedicated officer who has made a huge contribution to Leics & Rutland.”
Leicestershire Council leader Nick Rushton said: “We have lost an outstanding public servant whose life’s work has made our community stronger and safer.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his officers and family at this sad time.”
As he bid farewell to the troops, he said they were “financially and operationally healthy” and described his service as “very honoured”.
He said: “I have been honoured to lead Leicestershire Police since 2010 and to serve the community where I grew up.
“For more than a decade, [his officers’] unstoppable acts of bravery, compassion and determination have inspired me every day.
“You remind me every day why I became a police officer and the positive impact it has had.
“During my tenure as chief of police, I have seen and experienced the broad expectations of the police force, as well as the unexpected.
“From Covid-19 lockdowns and high-profile emergencies, to Premier League celebrations and the burial of medieval kings.
“Throughout this process, though, I’ve been delighted to see the police serve the public well and build trust in the community and in the community – whether it’s protecting young people, handling complex investigations, bringing gangs and family members to justice Bring violent criminals to justice or chat at a local samosa or pork pie event.
On the ground, Simon represents the strength of the Strategic Partnership Council, working with partners across the theater to reduce crime and antisocial behavior.
The force says he has had a huge impact on the national policing mix and has held a range of volunteer roles, from visiting students at the university to vice-president of a group of Boy Scouts and Boy Scouts.
He is also an avid athlete and chairman of the Leicestershire Police Sports and Leisure Unit, the Force Benevolent Fund and Police Sports UK National (PSUK) Lawn Tennis, Cricket and Rugby.
In 2014 Simon was very proud to have been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal on the New Year’s Honours Roll and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by De Montfort University.
In 2020, Simon was awarded the Sir Robert Peel Medal by the Department of Criminology, University of Cambridge.
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