City centre comes to a standstill for funeral of popular police officer

Pc Gavin Smith, who died on February 15 following a cancer fight.
Pc Gavin Smith, who died on February 15 following a cancer fight.

Scores of police officers have turned out to pay their respects to a colleague after his death at just 34.

The funeral of Pc Gavin Smith, a traffic officer who featured on the TV programme Police Interceptors, was held at Durham Cathedral with fellow officers forming a guard of honour.

Officers stand in a guard of honour at Pc Gavin Smith's funeral at Durham Cathedral.

Officers stand in a guard of honour at Pc Gavin Smith's funeral at Durham Cathedral.

Pc Smith had recently undergone treatment for cancer which had spread to his spine.

He was treated in hospital and was then allowed to return home to Bishop Auckland and received an escort from his colleagues.

It was at home on February 15 that he sadly passed away peacefully surrounded by his family.

His colleagues today lined up in the Market Square then led the cortege along medieval Saddler Street and marched up to the 11th Century cathedral for the service which was attended by the Chief Constable Mike Barton.

Officers march towards Durham Cathedral for the service.

Officers march towards Durham Cathedral for the service.

He was described as calm, polite and was known for dealing with people with dignity.

After he died, fellow officers changed their profile pictures on social media to a blue flame and his collar number.

Inspector Ed Turner, of the Roads Policing Unit, said: "Gav was one of those characters who just put everybody at ease, no matter who was in his company.

"The station was always a more lively place when he was there. He had one of those infectious personalities.

Pc Gavin Smith's coffin was draped with a flag and decorated with his police hat.

Pc Gavin Smith's coffin was draped with a flag and decorated with his police hat.

"He would always put others before himself and right to the end he was focussed on ensuring that Kezi and Tilly were ok and they would be provided for.

"In Gav we have not only lost a dedicated police officer, but a true friend."

He leaves wife Kezi and daughter Tilly, four.

At the time, his Kezi said: "It has been a real comfort to both me and Tilly that he was so well regarded by so many.

Pc Gavin Smith is taken to Durham Cathedral by his workmates.

Pc Gavin Smith is taken to Durham Cathedral by his workmates.

"We will both miss him so very much."

A guard of honour was given to the traffic officer as his force paid its respects to him.

A guard of honour was given to the traffic officer as his force paid its respects to him.

Heads were bowed as the funeral procession made its way through Durham.

Heads were bowed as the funeral procession made its way through Durham.

Officers carry Pc Gavin Smith into Durham Cathedral.

Officers carry Pc Gavin Smith into Durham Cathedral.