Ex-police chief found dead at home less than two weeks after retiring from force

30 March 2022, 19:36

Simon Cole was found dead at his home
Simon Cole was found dead at his home. Picture: Leicestershire Police

By Will Taylor

A former police chief has been found dead at his home less than weeks after retiring from the force.

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Leicestershire Police said it was "devastated" to hear Simon Cole had died aged 55 in Kibworth Harcourt.

It added that staff's "thoughts and prayers are with all of Simon’s family and friends at this difficult time" and his death has been referred to the coroner.

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.

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"Our hearts go out to his family at this difficult time and we will support them as much as we can.

"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. 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."

A book of condolence will be available on the force's website.

Mr Cole grew up in Leicestershire and became chief constable in June 2010 as part of his more-than-30 year career in policing.

He began his work at West Midlands Police, later joining Hampshire Police as assistant chief constable in 2003, rising to deputy chief constable in 2008.

Leicestershire Police said he had "a huge impact on national policing portfolios and held a number of voluntary roles", including a University of Leicester posting and a role with the local scouts and guides group.

Mr Cole, a keen sportsman, was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in the New Year's Honours List, also earned the Sir Robert Peel Medal by the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University in 2020, for outstanding leadership in evidence-based policing.