Ex-Durham Police Chief dies aged 68

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Durham’s former Police Chief, Ron Hogg, died at the age of 68 on 17th December. He is best known for reforming the Durham force such that it received a rating of ‘outstanding’ four times by the police inspectorate.

Following a diagnosis of motor-neurone disease in August, Hogg called for the law banning assisted dying for the terminally ill to be scrapped.

His office announced his death “with great sadness” in a statement to the press. “Ron died peacefully on Tuesday morning, having been diagnosed with motor neurone disease earlier this year”.

The former rugby player had a difficult struggle with the disease after the diagnosis. He told the Guardian, “I’ve got limited use of my right arm. I’ve lost three stone in body weight, I’ve lost five inches off my chest… simple things become so so difficult.”

In 2012, he was elected Durham’s first Police and Crime Commissioner. He had to step down from this role in September as his condition escalated.

In this role, he had a record of supporting reform in the national interest. He wanted resources to be focused not on punishing and reforming cannabis users but dealers, as well as advocating for radical changes to drug laws as a whole.

He also supported state-funded consumption rooms for drug addicts, and heroin supplied to addicts by the state, so that violent crime associated with trading the drug would be reduced.

His funeral was held at Durham Cathedral on 7th January, and was attended by family, friends, and colleagues, many of whom admired him.

Chief Constable Jo Farrell said it had been a real honour and a privilege to work with Hogg, adding, “He was a fantastic police leader, a really innovative thinker, and a thoroughly nice gentlemen.”

Steve White, former head of a police union, has been the acting Durham Police and Crime Commissioner since September, and is still currently in the role.

Photography: Tim Rawle via Flickr

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