Ex Leicestershire Police Chief Simon Cole, 55, found dead two weeks after retiring

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The former Eicestershire Police Chief has been found dead in his home nearly two weeks after retiring.

Simon Cole, 55, who has served with the police for more than 30 years, was found Wednesday at his home address in Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire.

His death has been referred to the coroner, Leicestershire police said. No further details have been released.

Temporary Chief Constable Rob Nixon said: “It is hard to put into words how devastating this news is for the entire force that Simon loved and respected. Our hearts go out to his family during this difficult time and we will support them as much as possible.

Simon Cole has served in the police force for over 30 years (Jacob King/PA)PA archive

“We want to respect their privacy and the coroner’s trial and would ask the public and the media to do the same.

“We provide support to our staff and those who have worked closely with Simon.

“I know Simon has 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 has worked with.

“All we can do is work together and mourn the loss of a very respected man.”

A public condolence register will be set up on the police website in the coming days.

Mr Cole grew up in Leicestershire and was trained in Market Bosworth, Northampton, Oadby and Colchester before joining the West Midlands Police Force in 1988 for a graduate entrance examination.

He joined the Hampshire Police in 2003 as an assistant chief constable, where he led the local police force. He then became Deputy Chief Constable in 2008 before returning to Leicestershire as Chief Constable in June 2010.

In 2014, he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the New Year Honors and was also awarded an honorary doctorate in the arts by De Montfort University.

Cole retired earlier this month, with his last day as chief on March 18.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was “desperately saddened” to hear the news.

She tweeted: “He was passionate about delivering for the people of Leicestershire, the area where he grew up, and devoted his life to policing.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to police officers like Simon and my thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

Rupert Matthews, Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland said: “I am shocked and deeply saddened to hear this tragic news. Simon Cole was the epitome of a great chief of police whose dedication to public service was unwavering. Thanks to his leadership, we live in a safer place.

“I know the officers and staff, past and present, of the Leicestershire Police will feel his death deeply.

“It was always clear to me that he was held in high regard and with genuine affection at all levels and I ask that people remember that in the coming days. They will grieve.

“My thoughts and condolences are with his family, friends and colleagues. I sincerely hope they have the time and space to grieve in peace.”

Adam Commons, chairman of the Leicestershire Police Federation, described Mr Cole as a “talented, approachable and inspiring chief of police”.

“He was also a friend of many of us who cared deeply about his police,” he added.

Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “Simon was a highly respected and valued officer. He has been a longstanding and prominent member of the Board of Chief Constable.

“In fact, as I described him during his last meeting, ‘the father of the house’.

“Over many decades, his leadership and impact have been felt by the people of Leicestershire and by everyone in the police force.

“We’ll miss him.”

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