Celebration of the Life of Bob Jones - Order of service and tribute from Yvonne Mosquito
Acting Police and Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito will share
her tribute to Bob Jones at the event to celebrate his life
We occupy a world, where people in the main, judge and are
judged by their appearance. However Bob's values surpassed
the superficiality of colour co-ordination or straight ties. He was
concerned with what was comfortable and what made others feel
comfortable. This perspective was evident in every aspect of his
I remember explaining to him that certain communities, simply
would not understand a leader, their leader, wearing a cagoule,
tee-shirt, well worn jeans, well worn trainers - or as he would
describe them walking shoes - and carrying a well used
rucksack. But, I, was wrong. I observed that as people got to
know Bob and realised he had integrity, believed in equality and
was sincere, issues of dress sense were eclipsed.
What a person truly believes, will manifest in how they behave.
Being around Bob for eighteen years I can tell you, there was no
misalignment between what he believed, what he said, and how he
Bob was exceptionally intelligent and his knowledge of policing
was second to none. He was assertive, had a quiet confidence but
never adopted any air of superiority. He quietly carried his
It is well known that he did sometimes struggle with
professionals who could, or should, do better and they were left
knowing where they stood. ....Usually on lightly scorched
He was hugely respected and was protective of the police
officers and police staff and wanted to improve the relationships
between the community and the police. He saw us as a bridge. And
there was no doubt he believed we had one of the best Chief
Constables in the country
As he travelled by bus and train throughout Sandwell, Coventry,
Dudley, Walsall, Solihull Birmingham and Wolverhampton ..meeting
people between meetings. A shared and collective consciousness
developed, that Bob Jones was a good, decent and honourable man.
Beyond the region, he was respected in his role within the APCC and
the College of Policing and was recognised at a national level with
his CBE for the contribution that he made to policing and community
Bob was a quiet man. Inside the office and in public I witnessed
his loyalty, sincerity, gentleness, kindness, his patience
and his great humility.
There is a biblical phrase "a mans pride will bring him low but
the humble retain honour".
He wanted to ensure the many voices of the West Midlands were
heard and he set up structures to do that. Those structures were
inclusive, they were cross party, ethnically and gender balanced,
they included competing voices. He also wanted to hear the voices
of young people and established the 14 youth commissioners.
Bob had this overwhelming desire to embrace everyone who wanted
him to help. No section of the community was unheard, he wanted to
understand every problem. He rarely refused an invitation, unless
he was already committed. Bob put the needs of the public, our
police service and his family above his own needs - this what all
great leaders do.
As a directly elected politician Bob had - power - but it wasn't
immediately noticeable in the way he behaved or communicated with
others. He used that power not for himself, but to serve the
diverse population of 29 parliamentary constituencies, 116 wards
and the 2.8 million people of the West Midlands policing
He gave back millions of pounds to the seven local authorities,
because he trusted local people to make decisions. He was clear
about what he wanted, yet he was not demanding. He could get upset,
but he was not resistant to honest counsel or advice. He worked
hard to maintain transparency and accountability, and he never took
a decision alone.
Bob said we would work as a true partnership and we did. He
included me in everything and we shared everything. He was loyal
and worthy of loyalty.
Bob's life has touched many lives in unseen ways. For example as
a result of his and the Chief Constables leadership, people with
mental health issues will have a first place of safety that will
not have to be a cell in a custody block, but could be discreet
assistance from a mental health nurse, a paramedic and a supportive
Using money from reserves, by next year, the West Midlands
will see the recruitment of 450 new police officers...most of them,
and most the people who they serve, won't have known Bob
personally, but they will experience his legacy.
He loved Sarah, Frances his granddaughter Emma. There was
not a day he didn't mention one or all of their names.
Spiritually Bob Jones held my hand, supported me, empowered me,
defended me, covered my scars with words of encouragement, quietly
helped me to fight the good fight, removed my incorrect perceptions
and told me what I could accomplish. Bob made me stronger.
Like walking in a empty room and catching the scent of someone's
perfume,.... Bob's impact will continue long after he has gone.....
I have quite simply lost one of the best people God has placed in
my life....... Rest in peace Bob.