Find out about our chief officers.

Simon Cole QPM took up his position as Chief Constable of Leicestershire in June 2010, returning to the area that he grew up in to become Chief of one of the forces that many years ago rejected his application to be a PC due to colour blindness!

Having been educated in Market Bosworth, Northampton, Oadby and Colchester, Simon joined West Midlands Police on the Graduate Entry Scheme. He worked in Birmingham in various uniform roles, as well as being Staff Officer to the Chief Constable and a Detective Inspector in West Bromwich. Simon rank-jumped to promotion as Operations Superintendent in Handsworth, before becoming Commander of Dudley South Operational Command Unit.

Simon joined Hampshire Constabulary in 2003 as Assistant Chief Constable where he led on delivering Neighbourhood Policing in cities, towns, the New Forest, on the Isle of Wight and at sea! On becoming Deputy Chief Constable in 2008 Simon was responsible for corporate planning and change management, consultation, information and research, as well as diversity and performance. He led work to merge IT departments with a neighbouring force, and led on both professional standards and collaboration.

Along the way Simon has completed training courses including:

  • 1991 and 1994 - Accelerated Promotion Course, Police Staff College, Bramshill
  • 2001 - Strategic Command Course, Police Staff College, Bramshill
  • 2004 and 2005 - European Top Senior Police Officers’ Course, representing English and Welsh forces, with colleagues from every EU country studying international crime prevention and public confidence.
  • 2007 - Strategic Command Course, Police Staff College, Bramshill; this time on the Directing Staff as a Syndicate Director.


He has worked on a variety of National Portfolios including the national portfolio for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on mental health and disability from September 2011 until April 2014. During this time he progressed work on places of safety, liaison and diversion from custody and, in 2013, he acted as the police adviser to Lord Adebowale's Independent Commission on Policing and Mental Health which focused on the Metropolitan Police. In 2014 Simon gave evidence to The Home Affairs Select Committee on policing mental health. Simon represented the police service on the Bradley Report Group, looking at the progress of Lord Bradley's 2009 recommendations on liaison and diversion in custody for those who are mentally ill.

Simon led nationally for National Police Chiefs Council on disability issues until March 2016; focusing work on autism, accessibility and dementia. Simon represents the National Police Chiefs Council on the Prime Ministers’ Dementia Task Force. In 2012 Simon was acknowledged by the Employers’ Forum on Disability as their Emergency Services Disability Champion in the Disability Standards Award.

In April 2012 Simon also became Chairman for what is now The National Police Chiefs' Council Local Policing and Partnerships Coordinating Committee. This includes leading work on local and response policing, Contact Management/101, Troubled Families, Children and Young People, citizens in policing (including Special Constables and Volunteers in Policing) and digital engagement. He leads the Digital Public Contact Board’s work to bring a single on line home to policing (akin to national systems 999 or 101) and sits on the National Police Reform and Transformation Board on behalf of Police Chiefs.

He sits on the College of Policing Professional Committee. He previously led national work for Association of Chief Police Officers on both crime statistics, within the Association of Chief Police Officers Crime Business Area, and on vetting, within the Association of Chief Police Officers Professional Standards Business Area.

In 2015 Simon was asked to lead work for the National Police Chief's Council (NPCC) on the Prevent strategy to counter radicalisation, and on the collaborative opportunities available through the procurement of both interpreting services and uniform.

Locally Simon represents the Force on the Strategic Partnership Board, working with partners from all over the Force area to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour. He also chairs the multi-agency Local Resilience Forum and the Force Executive Group, as well as representing the Force in working with the Police and Crime Commissioner. Simon is chair of the East Midlands Regional Chief Constables Meeting, leading collaborative work across the region.

Simon has a number of voluntary roles including:

  • Visiting Fellow of the Department of Criminology, University of Leicester
  • Member of the De Montfort University Faculty of Law Advisory Group
  • Vice President Leicestershire Guides
  • Vice President Leicestershire Scouts
  • Vice President of Police Mutual, which aims to support members of the police family
  • Board Member of De Montfort University
  • Trustee of Care of Police Survivors Charity
  • Member, Oadby and Knighton Multi Academy Trust


When not at work Simon is a committed family man with a son and daughter growing up in the area that he polices. He is a keen sportsman, playing tennis (badly), cycling (slowly), coaching and refereeing junior rugby and enjoying watching Leicester Tigers when work allows. He chairs the Leicestershire Police Sports and Leisure Section, Force Benevolent Fund and Police Sport UK National (PSUK) Lawn Tennis and Rugby Sections, and is Vice Chairman of the PSUK National Cricket Section.

He has a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Durham, an MA in History from University College, Worcester, and a Diploma in Criminology and Policing from Cambridge University. In 2014 Simon was very proud to be awarded the Queen's Police Medal in the New Year's Honours List, and was touched to be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts by De Montfort University.

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Rob has served with Leicestershire Police for 24 years, beginning his policing career here in 1993.

Throughout his service he has undertaken a variety of roles including working on response, in neighbourhoods and as a detective.

In 2008 he was appointed as the head of the force’s Community Safety Bureau, which was responsible for the implementation of neighbourhood policing, tackling anti-social behaviour and offender management.

His next role, from 2009 to 2014, was as Chief Superintendent for the Leicester City Basic Command Unit. He led local policing for the area and worked with communities during two large scale English Defence League and Unite Against Fascism demonstrations. He was instrumental in the force’s response to disorder during August 2012.

Throughout 2014 and 2015 he was head of business change and developed Blueprint2020 – a programme designed to decide how to make significant savings and take the force into a new era of policing.

His next step was to become Temporary Assistant Chief Constable, working across Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire on collaborative projects such as the regional East midlands Operational Support Service and East Midlands Criminal Justice Service.

He stayed in this role until April 2017, when he was appointed as the force’s Assistant Chief Constable. He has responsibility for local policing, crime and intelligence and public protection.

Outside of policing, Rob lives in Leicestershire with his family. He is a keen pilot, skier and has developed his construction skills while renovating a derelict property.

Julia Debenham joined Leicestershire Police in 1993 and has remained with the force ever since. Throughout her service, Julia has held a variety of roles throughout the ranks - both uniformed and non uniformed. Her current role is as shared Assistant Chief Constable with Northamptonshire Police with responsibility for the four force collaborative East Midlands Criminal Justice Service as well as the collaborative East Midlands Specialist Operations Service.

Julia said “I feel immensely proud to do the work that I do. I work with brilliant and dedicated people who achieve so much for the public. Often their efforts are not widely visible but their impact on people, often at a time of crisis, is hugely positive. It is a real privilege to live and work in our community. When I joined the police, I was seeking an interesting and challenging role that I could maintain as a career. 25 years on, this has remains the case. Every day is different, every day is challenging and I continue to enjoy (almost) every minute…”

Julia is married and is the mother of two young children.

Jason joined Leicestershire Constabulary in 1991 and served as a response officer across Braunstone, New Parks and Beaumont Leys, before moving to Charles Street police station on foot patrol. In 1994 he was seconded into a small team led by Tarique Ghaffur (who went on to become Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police) to complete a review of the organisational structure and working practices of the Force. This led to the creation of Local Policing Units (LPU’s) that have since developed into the Neighbourhood Policing Areas that exist today. Notably, this review also led to the creation of the current Contact Management Department in anticipation that mobile phones would become widely available.

Jason was part of the first team of Custody Sergeants at the newly opened Keyham Lane Police Station and was deputy LPU Commander at Belgrave. In 1999 he was promoted to Inspector and then spent 5 years as an LPU Commander at Lutterworth, Braunstone and then Hinckley & Bosworth.

On promotion he was Chief Inspector Crime and Operations on the West Area based at Beaumont Leys before undertaking a national secondment with the Home Office to delivery Neighbourhood Policing, for which he received a commendation from the head of the National Police Improvement Agency.

As a Superintendent and Chief Superintendent in Corporate Services, Jason led a number of large change related projects in the force, including the first mobile data Toughbooks that could access all force systems and allow officers and staff for the first time to complete their administration away from the police station. These were the forerunners for the mobile laptops and Blackberry’s that officers use today.

Jason formed the Tasking Directorate in 2010 which included Specialist Operations, Contact and Intelligence. Additionally he was the force lead for Hostage & Crisis Negotiation and Football Policing and led the operational response to some of the Force’s largest public order events.

At the end of 2011 he took a career break to gain further experience from the private sector and worked in 55 countries across 5 continents.

Outside of work Jason continues to enjoy his passion for flying and for cycling.

In his current role Jason is now using the experience that he gained working with companies such as Tesco to continue to develop the range of digital services that the police provide to the public.

David has served with Leicestershire Police since 1999, starting his career from the old Asfordby Street and Charles Street Police stations in Leicester, following on from his dad and grandad in serving in Leicestershire Police as part of over 80 years family service.

David continued to work across Leicester and surrounding area as a Sergeant. He led teams as a Shift, Neighbourhood and Custody Sergeant, before moving into the investigative departments, as a Detective Sergeant and being promoted as a Leicester City Detective Inspector.

As a Detective Inspector David also led the Force Special Operations Unit, leading on covert policing and Serious and Organised Crime before being seconded to the United Kingdom Borders Agency, managing an East Midlands Regional Team tackling foreign national offending. On promotion to Chief Inspector in 2009 David worked as the crime lead across the County of Leicestershire and Rutland as part of the County North and South areas, before supporting the amalgamation into the Counties Basic Command Unit.

From 2012 to 2015 David took the lead for safeguarding investigations, significantly developing the response to vulnerable people and the investigation of serious crime. He was instrumental in the introduction of the co-located multi-agency safeguarding, child abuse and child sexual exploitation teams and the development of the investigative digital hub.

In 2015 David was promoted to Chief Superintendent as the Head of Crime and Intelligence. David has been engaged in broad variety of high profile serious and critical incidents and crimes that have sadly occurred in Leicestershire. David recently successfully completed a Master’s degree at Cambridge University, he is an accredited PIP4 and PIP3 Senior Investigating Officer, a Senior Identification Manager and is also an active Strategic and experienced Tactical Firearms Commander.

From January 2019 David is undertaking the Temporary position as the Protective Services, Assistant Chief Constable for Leicestershire Police. This portfolio has the lead for the East Midlands Regional Criminal Justice Service, East Midlands Operations Department and he leads in Leicestershire for Serious and Organised Crime, Offender Management, Safeguarding Investigations and as the senior LGBT lead.

Outside of work David lives in Leicestershire with his family. He enjoys sport and being outside with his children. David manages a local children’s football team and is also a parent representative for an local scout group.