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

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

Friday, 3rd March 2017, 10:30 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:22 am
Pc Gavin Smith, who died on February 15 following a cancer fight.

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.

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

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

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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.

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

Officers march towards Durham Cathedral for the service.

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.

"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.

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

"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.

"We will both miss him so very much."

Pc Gavin Smith is taken to Durham Cathedral by his workmates.
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.
Officers carry Pc Gavin Smith into Durham Cathedral.
Officers stand in a guard of honour at Pc Gavin Smith's funeral at Durham Cathedral.
Officers march towards Durham Cathedral for the service.
Pc Gavin Smith's coffin was draped with a flag and decorated with his police hat.
Pc Gavin Smith is taken to Durham Cathedral by his workmates.
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.
Officers carry Pc Gavin Smith into Durham Cathedral.