Tributes paid to former Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole

Tributes have been paid to former Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole who has been found dead at his home.

The force have confirmed the 55-year-old's death, who recently retired from the force.

Mr Cole, who had served in policing for over 30 years, was found dead in Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire yesterday.

Officers say the matter has been referred to the coroner and their thoughts and prayers are with all of Simon’s family and friends at this difficult time.

On Thursday Leicestershire County Council leader Nick Rushton said he was "shocked and saddened."

"We have lost an outstanding public servant whose mission in life was dedicated to making our communities stronger and safer. Our thoughts and prayer are with his Police colleagues and with his family at this sad time."

Rosemary Conley CBE posted a tribute to Twitter, describing him as a "wonderful man who we very sadly and very suddenly lost today."

She adds: "I mention him here because I know he joined in our evening fitness challenges. May he RIP."

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.

Former Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole Credit: Leicestershire Police

“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.

Rupert Matthews, Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland said: "I am shocked and extremely saddened to hear this tragic news.  Simon Cole was the epitome of a great Chief Constable whose commitment to public service has been unswerving. We live in a safer place thanks to his leadership. 

"I know that the officers and staff, past and present, of Leicestershire Police will feel his death keenly.  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 be grieving.

"My thoughts and sympathies are with his family, friends and colleagues.  I sincerely hope that they are given the time and space to grieve in peace."