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E&S Comment: Bob Jones, the devoted public servant leaves a legacy of new officers

Wolverhampton | | Published:

The only way Bob Jones could have devoted more of his life to the police, law and order would be to have donned the uniform himself.

As the first elected police and crime commissioner for the West Midlands, Mr Jones was intended to be a trail blazer.

In fact it was a trail he did not believe should exist at all.

He believed David Cameron's new model for accountability would do more harm than good but decided that if anyone should hold such a position, it was better that he did rather than anyone else.

Mr Jones had served on the old West Midlands Police Authority from 1986 until it was abolished in 2012.

For five of those years he was its chairman. He was awarded a CBE in 2010 for his services to policing.

Alongside all of this, he was a councillor for 33 years in Wolverhampton's Blakenhall ward.

It is hard to imagine someone more dedicated to serving democracy and citizens than Bob Jones.

He was not someone who might fit the model of the stereotypical highly-paid public servant.

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Commuting by Midland Metro and still living a mile away from where he was born in Wolverhampton, he was also prominent in the Campaign for Real Ale.

Well educated, intelligent and elevated by the will of the voters to a position of power and authority, he earned the friendship and admiration of people from across the political divide.

Even those who believed in the exact opposite when it came to the existence of the police and crime commissioner respected him for his principles.

It was on his watch that West Midlands Police was able to set in motion plans to recruit new officers after years of freezes to cope with multi-million pound cuts.

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A new wave of young, enthusiastic bobbies keeping communities safe for decent people will be the legacy of Bob Jones.

We can think of nothing finer that he could leave.

We send our most sincere condolences to Mr Jones' wife, Sarah, and their family for their sudden loss.

And we hope that at this devastating time they are able to draw some comfort from the tributes that have flooded in from politicians, police colleagues and others all over the country.

It was not a job he wanted, but it was one he did to the best of his ability.

For that, Bob Jones serves as an example to everyone.

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