Tributes have been paid to a police community support officer (PCSO) who died after testing positive for coronavirus.
Graham Wesley Dinning, 48, worked for Northumbria Police for 28 years. The force said he was a real character, well-respected and worked to make a difference to the communities he served.
The popular officer, known as Wez, tested positive for Covid-19 on October 14 and had been self-isolating at home. However, his condition worsened and he died on Wednesday.
The force said his wife Laura also works for Northumbria Police and they had a son, Adam.
Paying tribute, she said: “We are absolutely devastated beyond words.
“Wez was a caring and loving husband and father and an incredible friend who will be greatly missed by so many.
“He really loved working for Northumbria Police and was proud to be a PCSO.
“I would ask everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him, that they remember him with humour because I know that’s what he would want.”
Northumbria Police’s chief constable Winton Keenen led the tributes from the force.
He said: “The thoughts of everyone at Northumbria Police are with Laura and Adam and Graham’s wider family and friends at this extremely difficult time.
“They have our deepest sympathies and our full support.
“Many of those friends include colleagues, and the impact of this tragic loss will be felt across the whole police family.
“Graham was a dedicated and well-respected member of Northumbria Police.
“He was a real character and was an extremely popular and likeable colleague who was committed to making a real difference to the communities he served.”
Graham began his career with Northumbria Police more than 28 years ago, on April 13 1992, as a general office assistant in Farringdon, Sunderland.
He worked in various roles within business support across southern area command including in Farringdon, Washington and in Sunderland.
Graham went on to secure a role as a PCSO, working in central area command between September 2017 and April 2019.
He then made the move back to southern area command and was most recently involved in a project working with partner organisations in Southwick.
Mr Keenen added: “I would like to thank our officers, staff and volunteers – and all of our colleagues across the emergency services – who continue to display unwavering commitment and professionalism at these most challenging of times.”
The police have asked for people to give the family privacy at this time.