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'His shoes will be a huge pair to fill': Temporary commissioner to be chosen following Bob Jones' tragic death

Dudley | News | Published:

[figure caption="Bob Jones speaking at a press conference days after his election to the position of PCC in November 2012." title="West Midlands police and crime commissioner Bob Jones" align="center" url="/news/2014/06/27/police-chief-my-officers-would-have-been-right-to-arrest-luis-suarez/west-midlands-police-and-crime-commissioner-bob-jones/" alt="West Midlands police and crime commissioner Bob Jones" id="682589"][figure caption="Councillor Yvonne Mosquito pictured with Mr Jones in 2012." title="Bob Jones death" align="center" url="/news/2014/07/02/his-shoes-will-be-a-huge-pair-to-fill-temporary-commissioner-to-be-chosen-following-bob-jones-tragic-death/bob-jones-death/" id="686295"][gallery] Tributes were today continuing to pour in for West Midlands police and crime commissioner Bob Jones, as it emerged a temporary replacement would be appointed within days.

Councillors and lay members of the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel are to meet to choose an interim commissioner following Mr Jones' sudden death at the age of 59.

A likely candidate to fill the post until a by-election can be held would be Mr Jones' deputy, Yvonne Mosquito.

Councillor Yvonne Mosquito pictured with Mr Jones in 2012.

The law that created the post of PCCs requires that a by-election take place within 35 days.

Mr Jones was revealed yesterday to have died in his sleep and tributes have continued to pour in following his sudden death.

The former Wolverhampton Labour councillor was elected to the £100,000-a-year post in November 2012. He was the first West Midlands holder of one of the new wave of commissioner posts created by the coalition government.

Bob Jones speaking at a press conference days after his election to the position of PCC in November 2012.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: "My thoughts and prayers are with Bob's family, friends and colleagues at this sad time.

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"Bob showed a great passion for serving the people of the West Midlands and a strong belief in the police.

"As a councillor, a member of the West Midlands police authority for over 25 years, and then as the area's first PCC, his contribution to keeping the people of the West Midlands safe was very impressive.

"I know he will be greatly missed."

And Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "It is terribly sad news that Bob Jones has passed away.

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"He was a dedicated public servant, who cared deeply about his local community.

"He served with distinction both as a councillor and – more recently – as West Midland's Police and Crime Commissioner.

"Bob Jones was respected across the political spectrum for his service and huge contribution to improving policing.

"My thoughts today are with Bob's wife Sarah and his family.

"I know he will be greatly missed by his friends and colleagues in the Labour Party and by people from across the West Midlands."

Mr Jones had been due to chair a meeting yesterday when staff at West Midlands Police headquarters were informed of his death.

West Midlands Deputy Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito fought back tears as she said: "I do not think anybody could be another Bob Jones. He was quite unique and I feel incredibly privileged to have worked alongside him. He was an inspiration to me."

She added: "Bob was a humble, incredibly intelligent man who was always calm, measured and balanced. He believed that it was the people who shaped policing rather than his own opinions despite his knowledge of the subject spanning over 30 years. I hope that the next Crime Commissioner continues on the path Bob trod."

Wet Midland Chief Constable Chris Sims added: "I had worked with Bob over 15 years. He had a phenomenal capacity for detail and had been in and around policing since 1986. We met once a week and often found ourselves working through difficult issues. We both respected each others organisational position. It worked well."

Mr Jones speaking at a press conference days after his election to the post of West Midlands PCC, pictured alongside Chris Sims Chief Constable of West Midlands Police.

Watch Chris Sims' video tribute to Bob Jones.

One of three assistant commissioners, Dudley councillor Judy Foster, said: "I was waiting in the room where the meeting was about to take place when Yvonne Mosquito broke the news.

"We were all devastated.

"Bob was a great man. He was the best boss I've ever worked for. I was fortunate to have started my political life on the police authority 17 years ago when he was chairman.

"No one could equal him in his experience of policing. He was always accessible but while we are all devastated here in his office our thoughts must go to his family and friends.

"His shoes will be a huge pair to fill."

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