Arthur Cole was born in Caerau. His father and other relatives were miners at two main collieries. Arthur joined Glamorgan Constabulary in 1967, later joining South Wales Constabulary. In 1973 he became Detective Constable, for 27 years, involved in investigation of major crimes from murder to anti-terrorism. After retiring, he became a gardener. Arthur is married to Caroline with two children; Christopher, a police officer in South Wales, and Karen, a creative director in Singapore.