County’s top cop set to retire

Leicestershire’s top police officer is to retire after serving longer in the post than any other chief constable in the UK.

By Nick Rennie
Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 1:07 pm
Leicestershire Chief Constable Simon Cole EMN-220501-123905001
Leicestershire Chief Constable Simon Cole EMN-220501-123905001

Simon Cole will step down in the spring after commanding the force for the last 12 years.

Mr Cole said it had been ‘a great honour’ to do the job in an area where he grew up.

“In my time as chief constable I have seen and experienced the full breadth of what policing is expected to do, and the unexpected too, from Covid lockdowns and high-profile emergency incidents, to Premier League celebrations, and even the re-interment of a medieval king,” he said.

“Throughout, however, I have been happiest when I’ve seen how the force has delivered good service to the public and built trust in neighbourhoods and communities - whether it’s been safeguarding young people, tackling complex investigations, bringing county lines gangs and domestic abusers to justice, or just having a chat over a samosa or a pork pie at a local event.”

Mr Cole has been a police officer for 33 years after starting his career with the West Midlands force.

He became chief constable of Leicestershire in 2010 and was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the New Year’s Honours in 2014, and the Sir Robert Peel medal for problem-solving policing from the University of Cambridge last year.

Mr Cole paid tribute to the support he has received, adding: “I am proud to have served with officers, staff and volunteers who give so much every day. I would like to thank my colleagues for their tireless dedication, commitment and professionalism.

“Every day, for more than a decade, their unstoppable acts of bravery, compassion and determination have motivated me. They have reminded me daily why I became a police officer and the positive difference it makes.

“It has been a privilege to lead this force in such a vibrant city and two stunningly beautiful counties.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Rupert Matthews, who will instigate a recruitment process to identify Mr Cole’s successor, said: “On behalf of the residents of our city and two counties, I would like to formally thank the chief constable for 12 years of exceptional service.

“His commitment has, throughout that period, been unswerving and we live in a safer place thanks to his leadership.”