THE REGION’S Police Commissioner, Bob Jones, has died unexpectedly at the age of 59.
Police chiefs said he died in his sleep last night (Monday), with wife Sarah describing her husband as a warm and wonderful man.
“Nothing was more important to Bob than his family which he loved with a passion,” she said.
“He was a very special man who will be terribly missed by his loved ones and I’m sure by the many people whose lives he touched in public service.”
Mr Jones had held the role of Police and Crime Commissioner since November 2012 after being chosen as Labour’s candidate for the new position.
He had been a councillor in Wolverhampton since 1980 and was also a member of the Police Authority – being awarded a CBE in 2010 for services to policing – before taking up the new post.
Tributes flooded in for Mr Jones from police officers and politicians as they learned of the news.
His deputy, Yvonne Mosquito, said it was a huge loss to the West Midlands and to policing.
“Bob was a dear friend and a deeply committed public servant,” she said.
“All our thoughts are with Bob’s wife Sarah and his family at this sad time.”
Former Coventry Police Commander, Andrew Nicholson, said on twitter: “RIP Bob Jones – a true friend, supporter and critic of UK policing. A sad and shocking loss.”
Current assistant chief constable of the force, Garry Forsyth, added: “A man of real integrity and principle. Will be missed hugely by us all here as he will be in wider policing. RIP Bob.”
Deputy leader of the city council, Coun Phil Townshend, said the West Midlands had been robbed of one of its most able public servants.
“In his tenure as Commissioner, Bob earned respect across all communities and all parties for the manner in which he discharged his duties; without fear or favour, but with courage and conviction,” Coun Townshend said.
“He was tireless in his efforts to engage all citizens of the West Midlands in the development of policing in their communities.
“He travelled energetically across the West Midlands engaging with partners, and he was a particular friend to the Police service in Coventry and to Coventry City Council.
“All of our thoughts at this time must be with his family, his friends, and his colleagues, to whom we extend our sincere condolences and sympathy.
“Policing in general, and the West Midlands in particular, have lost an exceptional public servant.”