Tributes have been pouring in for the police officer who died on the M6 on Sunday.

THE heartbroken family of PC Nick Dumphreys yesterday led tributes to the popular officer, who was also a deeply loved husband and father.

In a statement, his family said: “Nick was a kind and loving husband and father. He was a larger-than-life character who loved his job and adored his children. His passing will leave an enormous hole in all our hearts. We would like to thank everyone for their condolences, help and support over the last 24 hours but we would ask now for some time and privacy to come to terms with what has happened.”

Some of the police officers who responded to the fatal police car crash on the M6 were colleagues of PC Dumphreys, it has been confirmed. Cumbria police also confirmed that PC Dumphreys died at the scene.

The officer - described by the force’s Chief Constable Michelle Skeer as “an absolute professional” - was responding to a 999 call about an alleged assault when his car left the road’s southbound carriageway on the stretch of M6 opposite Hadrian’s Camp at about 2pm on Sunday.

There was also a tribute from Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall: “I’m sure the people of Cumbria will join me in expressing our profound sadness at the appalling and tragic loss of Police Constable Nick Dumphreys who died on duty [on Sunday]. I know that Nick was a most professional and dedicated officer who was totally committed to protecting and serving the public. My first thoughts, prayers and sincere condolences are with Nick’s wife, children, friends and colleagues. Nick died in the line of duty doing the job at which he excelled. He will be most sadly missed.”

Originally from South Africa, PC Dumphreys joined Cumbria Police in 2003, working in Penrith, and Brampton, and most recently out of Durranhill Police HQ, where the station’s union flag yesterday flew at half mast as a mark of respect. In 2017, PC Dumphreys was among several officers commended for leading elderly residents to safety as fire ravaged their flats complex in Penrith.

Though the details of how the tragedy happened are still being investigated, the shockwaves of losing such a respected serving officer have reverberated beyond Cumbria. Among the early responses was one from the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers across the country.

At the organisation’s HQ in Surrey, flags were flown at half mast in a visible sign of respect and solidarity with PC Dumphreys’ grieving colleagues.

Paul Williams, Chairman of Cumbria Police Federation, said: “All Cumbria Police officers are shocked and saddened to learn about the death of our colleague, who died in a single vehicle road traffic collision earlier today whilst on duty. "The officer served on Cumbria’s Road Policing Unit and his sudden passing has caused deep shock and grief to the policing family in Cumbria and across the UK."