Simon, who had served in policing for over 30 years, was found dead at his home address in Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire, this morning.
This matter has been referred to the Coroner.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Simon’s family and friends at this difficult time.
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.
“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 public book of condolence will be established in the coming days via our website.
Notes to editors:
Simon Cole QPM grew up in Leicestershire and took up his position as Chief Constable of the force in June 2010. Having been educated in Market Bosworth, Northampton, Oadby and Colchester, Simon joined West Midlands Police on the Graduate Entry Scheme.
Simon joined Hampshire Police in 2003 as Assistant Chief Constable where he led on delivering Neighbourhood Policing. He became Deputy Chief Constable in 2008 before returning to Leicestershire as Chief.
Locally Simon represented the force on the Strategic Partnership Board, working with partners from all over the force area to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. He had a huge impact on national policing portfolios and held a number of voluntary roles including;
Visiting Fellow of the Department of Criminology, University of Leicester
Member of the De Montfort University Faculty of Law Advisory Group
Vice President Leicestershire Guides
Vice President Leicestershire Scouts
Vice President of Police Mutual, which aims to support members of the police family
Board Member of De Montfort University (2017-2020)
Trustee of Care of Police Survivors Charity
Member, Oadby and Knighton Multi Academy Trust
He was a keen sportsman chairing the Leicestershire Police Sports and Leisure Section, Force Benevolent Fund and Police Sport UK National (PSUK) Lawn Tennis, cricket and Rugby Sections.
He was awarded a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Durham, an MA in History from University College, Worcester, and a Diploma in Criminology and Policing from Cambridge University. In 2014 Simon was very proud to be awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the New Year’s Honours List, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts by De Montfort University.
In 2020, Simon was awarded the Sir Robert Peel Medal by the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University. The Sir Robert Peel Medal is awarded annually for Outstanding Leadership in Evidence Based Policing; COVID meant that it was actually presented in 2021.