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Puppy named after Police Interceptor's star who lost his battle with cancer

Gav and Kezi's daughter Tilly with new police pup Smithy Credit: Durham Constabulary

A puppy has been named after a Police Interceptor's star who lost his battle with spine cancer earlier this year.

Smithy the Belgian Malinois puppy has been adopted by Durham Constabulary to honour PC Gavin Smith, who died of cancer in February aged just 34.

The four-month-old pup has been named in memory of the PC who featured on popular British TV series Police Interceptors.

Smithy had a special visit from PC Smith's widow, Kezi Smith and daughter, Tilly, five, at Spennymoor Police Station.

Gav's wife Kezi, who is also a police officer, said Smithy had been a great comfort as the family grieve.

The 36-year-old said:

It's really nice to see the force are still thinking of us and honouring Gavin's memory.

It's lovely having Smithy and it's nice for Tilly to have that link."

– Kezi Smith

PC Smith, known to his colleagues as Gav, served with Durham Constabulary for 12 years and worked with the roads policing unit based at Spennymoor, County Durham.

Police from Durham Constabulary lined the streets and performed a guard of honour for PC Smith during his funeral at Durham Cathedral on March 3.

Mrs Smith said Smithy was "something nice and positive to think about despite all the difficult times".

She also said the family had been following the puppy's progress on social media as dog handler, PC Ian Squire, posts regular updates.

Kezi, Gav and Tilly Credit: Family photo

Smithy is currently being looked after by a couple of 'puppy walkers' until he is ready to start his official training next September, at 16 months old.

PC Squire said the force received Smithy when he was just seven weeks old and the team had immediately thought of honouring PC Smith by naming the new 'recruit' after him.

Mrs Smith, who bought a Labrador called Woody following her husband's death, added:

We are really touched because it's been a really difficult time, especially for Tilly, so just to have something like this is great and the force have been so good helping us through everything.

These little touches really do make a big difference and certainly for Tilly when it's tough going."

– Kezi Smith

Police Interceptors follows the work of high-speed interception units from force's across the country.