Tributes have been paid to a former British police officer who was shot dead while serving in Canada.

PC John Davidson, 53, was hit while trying to arrest a suspect in Abbotsford, British Columbia, on Monday.

The local police department said it had lost “an amazing colleague and friend who died in the line of duty”.

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On its website, the force paid tribute to the married father-of-three, saying: “Our community lost a hero.

“John was a dedicated police officer who devoted so much of his time to connecting with the community and helping kids.”

He was formerly an officer with Northumbria Police and its Acting Chief Constable Winton Keenen said: “We were very saddened to learn of the death of our former colleague who died bravely in the line of duty while serving as an officer.

“Our thoughts are very much with his family, friends and former colleagues at this difficult time.”

Mr Davidson was a police officer for 24 years, working from 1993 to 2005 in Newcastle and North Shields, then on motor patrols before he emigrated.

Mr Keenen added: “Today many of our officers who knew John well during his career with us and kept in touch with him over the ensuing years are shocked by the events.”