Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 1 April 2022
MANY TRIBUTES have poured in paying respects to Leicestershire Police’s former top cop, Simon Cole QPM, who sadly passed away at home on Wednesday morning (30 March), just 12 days after he had retired from his role as Chief Constable.
Social media timelines have been flooded with tributes and messages of respect, from Cole’s former colleagues, other regional police forces who he had links to, Members of Parliament, councillors, and others who have had previously worked alongside him.
Leicestershire Police’s Temporary Chief Constable, Rob Nixon, said: “It is hard to put into words how devastating this news is for the entire force who loved and respected Simon.
“Our hearts go out to his family at this difficult time and we will support them as much as we can.
He continued: “We want to respect their privacy and the Coroner’s process and would ask that the public and media do so too.
We are offering support to our staff and those who worked closely with Simon.
He concluded: “I know Simon had a great impact on many of the communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and his death will be a great loss to many of the people he worked with.
“All we can do is pull together and mourn the loss of a greatly respected man.”
Cole first started his career as a cop in the West Midlands – in the county over.
A West Midlands Police spokesperson, said: “Simon started his policing career at West Midlands Police.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of his death. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Adam Commons, Branch Chair of Leicestershire Police Federation, said: “The boss was an absolute inspiration to me, I’m lost for words. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones”.
Scott Chilton, Chief Constable of Dorset Police, said: “Simon was a man of huge stature and devoted his life to public service. Respected and admired by so many.
“My privilege to have been led by him and learn from his wisdom. My thoughts are to his family at such a difficult times. A wonderful man who I will miss dearly.”
Mathew Hulbert, Independent Chair of the Leicestershire Police’s LGBT+ Advisory Group, said: “Simon was greatly respected across LLR and, indeed, further afield. My deepest condolences are with his family, friends and colleagues.”
Dr. Luke Evans, Hinckley and Bosworth’s Member of Parliament, stated that he was ‘shocked and saddened’ by the announcement.
He said: “I am shocked and saddened to hear the news about Chief Constable Simon Cole QPM.
“I worked with Simon all throughout the pandemic and was grateful for his leading role in the Leicestershire Local Resilience Forum, which he carried out with consummate professionalism.
“My thoughts are with Simon’s family and friends at this time, and all who serve our community at Leicestershire and Rutland Police.”
Bill Cullen, Chief Executive of Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, said: “This is such incredibly sad news.
Stuart Bray, Leader of Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, said: “Our thoughts are with Simon’s family, friends and colleagues at this most difficult time.
“This is tragic news. Simon was a dedicated public servant who commanded great respect. Thoughts to his family, friends and people who worked with him.”
Leader of Leicestershire County Council, Nick Rushton, said: “I’m terribly shocked and saddened to learn of this awful news. Simon was the youngest ever Chief Constable appointed for Leicestershire and Rutland, as well as the longest serving.
“We have lost an outstanding public servant whose mission in life was dedicated to making our communities stronger and safer. Our thoughts and prayers are with his Police colleagues and with his family at this sad time.”
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, said: “This is desperately sad and I’m in total shock. Simon was a towering figure across Leicester and rightly commanded huge respect across every community. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
A spokesperson for Blaby District Council, said: “Everyone at Blaby District Council is shocked and saddened to hear this awful news.
“Simon was a highly respected and valued partner and our deepest condolences go to his friends, family, and all those at Leicestershire Police.”
Home Office Secretary for the United Kingdom, Priti Patel, stated that she was ‘desperately saddened’.
She said: “I am desperately saddened to hear about the passing of former Chief Constable Simon Cole QPM. He was passionate about delivering for the people of Leicestershire, the area where he grew up, and dedicated his life to policing.
“We owe an immense debt of gratitude to police officers like Simon and my thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”
Book of Condolences launched
This afternoon, Leicestershire Police launched a book of condolences which can be signed, so that messages can be left in support and tribute to the former Chief Constable.
It has been launched to ‘help bring the tributes together’.
Those wanting to sign the book of condolences can do so here.