Following shocking news of his premature and sudden death, I want to take the opportunity to pay tribute to Bob Jones, the first Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands.
I first came across Bob when he asked me to be his election agent in Coventry for the Police Commissioner elections in 2012. I was delighted to accept and pleased to work with him. It was a difficult election because there was so little recognition or support for the posts across the country and Coventry was no different. Getting Bob’s message out across the region and city and getting people interested, even in the political classes was no easy task!
Bob took to it with an easy charm and avuncular style which impressed all who met him as we knocked doors on cold evenings in October and November. He carried this style through to doing the job when he was elected and managed to argue without contradiction that the post of Commissioner was not the right thing for policing. Whatever side of the argument you are on without doubt Bob was the right man for the job.
He has left a legacy that will be difficult to follow. On top of that, he managed to pull off something never achieved before in Coventry. St. Michael’s Ward had the highest voter turnout for Bob in Coventry! We will all miss him.