Obituary: Robert ‘Bob’ Sim, 84

Bob Sim served in the police for 39 years. Picture: comp
Bob Sim served in the police for 39 years. Picture: comp
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A former assistant chief constable with Lothian and Borders Police has died at the age of 84.

Robert Sim, or Bob as he was known, was born in Greenhill, near Falkirk, on July 11, 1930, the son a railway signalman in the village.

The middle child of three brothers, he attended the local primary school before completing his education at Denny High School.

As the nation recovered from the Second World War, enrolment at university would have required a two-year wait, so Bob took a job in the Civil Service while awaiting his call for national service.

In April 1949, he reported to Catterick Camp in Yorkshire, and after three months of basic training he was posted to the Royal Military Police, where he spent the remainder of his service in the War Office in London.

In June 1950, Bob met Jean Platt from Bradley, near Wrexham in north Wales, who was serving in the Women’s Royal Army Corps in London. They married in Wrexham in May 1952 and had two children – Elizabeth and John.

Bob joined the Edinburgh City Police in January 1952, where he served for 17 years, rising to the rank of superintendent.

He would recount the many tales of his time as a bobby on the beat and reflected on the years fondly.

His hard work and devotion to the force did not go unnoticed when, in June 1969, he was appointed to the post of deputy chief constable of the former Berwick, Roxburgh and Selkirk force, relocating his family to Hawick.

In 1976, Bob was promoted again to the post of assistant chief constable of the newly formed Lothian and Borders force, and just four years later was appointed as chief constable of Tayside Police. He fulfilled the responsibilities of this challenging and prestigious post for a further four years when another opportunity for advancement presented itself – the post of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary.

His service in the inspectorate extended over six years, with the final two years as chief inspector of constabulary. He retired from the force in December 1990 following 39 years of service.

During his long and successful career, Bob’s application and devotion to his duties were recognised on three occasions – in 1975 by the award of an MBE; the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) in 1981; and the award of a CBE in 1988.

In retirement, he accepted an appointment as vice-president of St Andrew’s Ambulance Association, an organisation he had been involved with in various roles since 1946.

Having relocated back to Hawick, he enjoyed gardening, swimming and walking in the park before assuming the role of carer for Jean, who was sadly struck by long-term illness and died in 2009.

Bob passed away peacefully on March 13 in Hawick.