Family of longest serving police chief found dead at home say our ‘hearts are broken’


Former Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole, 55, was found dead at his home in Leicestershire just 12 days after retiring, and now his heartbroken family have paid tribute to him

Former Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole was found dead at his home

The family of Britain’s longest-serving police chief found dead at home 12 days after he retired say their “hearts are broken.”

Former Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole, 55, was discovered at his home in the village of Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire, on Wednesday morning.

His cause of death has not been confirmed, but it is believed he took his own life as the case was referred to the coroner.

He had only recently announced his retirement from the force where he worked for more than 30 years and had been the UK’s longest serving Chief Constable.

His wife, Jo Cole, paid tribute to her late husband today, telling of the “huge impact” the death has had on her family.

She said: “We would like to thank everybody who has shared well wishes with us. Your kind words have given us comfort and support.

“Our hearts are broken at the loss of Simon. Our family knows we have to share this grief with so many people who knew Simon, but this must also be a private moment for us as we come to terms with what has happened.







Simon had only recently announced his retirement from Leicestershire Police
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Image:

Leicester Mercury / SWNS.com)

“Simon had such a huge impact on so many people, through his many years with the police but also through charities and sports clubs. He had a huge energy for life and everything he did was about making things better for people.

“We are not sure how we will manage to come to terms with Simon not being here. We were planning many exciting things for his retirement. In the last few weeks of his job as Chief Constable, I know that he was moved by the love , support and admiration that his colleagues gave him and how kind the community were to him about what he had achieved in his career.

“We have to find strength now to live our lives without him. We ask respectfully for privacy at this time and to be allowed to grieve as a family.”

Simon took charge of Leicestershire Police 12 years ago – making him one of Britain’s youngest chief constables at 43. He has first joined the force as an officer in 1988.







Simon’s family have said their ‘hearts are broken’
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Image:

PA)

Earlier this week, Temporary Chief Constable Rob Nixon paid tribute to his colleague. He 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.

“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.”

Residents living in Simon’s village this week described him as a “pillar of the community”, and said he had been “missing the job” he had “dedicated most of his life to”.







Simon took charge of Leicestershire Police 12 years ago – making him one of Britain’s youngest chief constables at 43
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Image:

AVERAGE BPM)







Simon joined Leicestershire Police as an officer in 1988
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Image:

AVERAGE BPM)

One local, who did not want to be named, said: “It is dreadfully sad as he was a pillar of the community and did so much for policing across the county.

“Although I didn’t know him too closely, I know a couple who did and they said that although he was looking forward to retirement he was definitely missing the job.

“He had dedicated most of his life to his career so its understandable. He loved it despite the stress that came with it and it was a big part of who he was.

“It’s just an awful loss and completely out of the blue.”

If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or visit their site to find your local branch

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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