Commissioner Bob Jones - a tribute from his family
Bob Jones was elected Police and Crime Commissioner for the West
Midlands in 2012. Despite the fact that he was open in saying that
he did not think the PCC model was the best form of governance of
policing, he threw himself into the role whole-heartedly.
Since Bob's death was announced on Tuesday 1 July, there has
been a massive outpouring of sympathy to Bob's family and to the
office where he worked.
His wife Sarah Edmondson has received vast numbers of cards from
friends, colleagues and people who knew and respected Bob, many of
whom she did not even know. There has been a flood of comments on
Twitter and in the books of condolences expressing sadness at the
passing of a man who was held in great affection and esteem by
people in the West Midlands and the rest of the country.
Sarah Edmondson said that Bob wanted the public to feel safe
with the police.
"He wanted people to know that if they had a problem, they could
go to the police and it would be sorted out," said Sarah.
"He also put a high priority on the welfare of police
officers and did not want them to get scapegoated for issues beyond
their control. He took a huge interest in their roles and wanted to
help them to work more effectively and find ways of cutting down on
paperwork. He took every opportunity to quiz officers and find out
what they did and how. At police station open days he would talk
with police community support officers (PCSOs) because Bob's view
was that ideas should come from the bottom up."
Remembering when she first met Bob in 1976, Sarah said: "He made
me laugh, he had a lovely smile and was always very kind. He was a
good listener, who would hear me out and then gently point of the
error of my ways. He was entirely modest and unassuming and would
go to the ends of the earth to sort out people's problems. He would
drop everything if somebody needed help and recently gave a lift to
a friend who needed to get to the hospital quickly."
Sarah's daughter Frances Harrison said: "He married my Mum when
I was 17 and Bob completely became my Dad. He adored his
granddaughter Emma. From the age of two, he would take her off
somewhere every Sunday - to feed the ducks in the park or somewhere
local. It was their special time together and nobody else was
allowed to join in."
Emma with her big blue eyes had her 'Grand-Bob' wrapped around
her little finger. She knew that if Granny said no to something,
she just had to go to 'Grandbob', who would melt instantly. As Emma
got older, he would take her on days out, getting up early to make
the sandwiches for them to take on their adventures. Always
up for a train journey, Bob infused Emma with his passion for
"A holiday was never a holiday without a trip to a railway,"
said Frances. "He was tremendously proud when Emma was recently
accepted for an apprenticeship in the engineering department at
Severn Valley Railway."
Emma who is now 17 said: "He was just the most amazing and
wonderful Grandbob. He would always go above and beyond to try and
help me. He recently paid for me to have a set of driving lessons
and I am so glad he knew about the apprenticeship. He was really
delighted for me."
Bob Jones' sister Rosemary Green said: "Bob inherited a perfect
combination of qualities from our parents. He had Dad's calm,
quietness and kindness mixed with our Mum's political zest and
determination. His middle name Moelwyn was chosen by our father,
after one of the mountains of Snowdonia where Dad grew up. Bob
loved that area as much as our Dad and loved to spend summer
holidays in Snowdonia where he could enjoy the mountain views."
"All the family were delighted when Bob and Sarah got together,
because he was so happy. It is down to Sarah that he was able to do
all the things he did. He could not have done the role of PCC
without Sarah supporting him."
Bob's cousin Councillor John Reynolds said: "We had a great deal
of fun together holidaying in Llwyngwril. To him, it was a place of
perfection and a paradise. His phone would be switched off and he
had time for a proper rest. We would go hill walking or on days
out. My daughter Alice who is now 24, used to have breakfast with
us at our caravan and then go to Sarah and Bob and have a second
breakfast with them. "
"As a former leading member of the Campaign for Real Ale, Bob
would plan itineraries for outings which would include the maximum
number of train rides and pub visits that could be fitted into a
twelve hour day."
Bob Jones, who always used public transport when he was working,
travelled to his meetings on buses and trains. He had a complete
knowledge of the West Midlands Travel timetable and knew exactly
how he would get to any venue without having to look anything up.
Bob will always be remembered as a man of the people.
Bob Jones was a member of Talyllyn Railway in Wales, where his
granddaughter Emma is still a volunteer in the loco and traffic
departments. He also took a keen interest in the Kingswood Trust in
Flowers / Donations
The family have asked that, in lieu of
flowers, anybody who wishes to make a donation in memory of
Bob Jones is invited to give their support to two organisations
that were important to him:
Kingswood Trust - Kingswood
is a unique environment which uses the outdoors as a natural
context for children's learning. Details of how to make a donation
Talyllyn Railway - Bob
Jones and his family have been members and supporters of the
Talyllyn Railway for many years. Details of how to make a
donation are available
Celebration of the life of Bob Jones, 23 July
The celebration of Bob Jones' life will take place at 1300 hours
(1pm) on Wednesday 23 July 2014, starting at Wolverhampton Civic
register to attend).