The family of Debbie Hall, who died last week after a long battle with cancer, have paid tribute to her and to the strength of support they have received.

Debbie was only 50 when she died last Wednesday after a five-year fight with liver and bone cancer.

She had previously battled cancer in 2003, at the age of just 32 - receiving the diagnosis just four days before joining Cumbria Police.

Following the news of her death, hundreds paid tribute to Debbie across social media, with those who knew her describing Debbie as kind, warm and deeply committed to helping others.

Debbie’s family thanked the local community in a statement passed on to the Cumberland News.

“We are totally devastated by the passing of Debbie.

“We would like to thank you all for your kind condolences and supportive messages.

“Debbie was devoted to her family and did not let her illness prevent her being a fantastic loving mam, nana, daughter and sister.

“We are all very proud of Debbie’s achievements, including being a serving police officer which has allowed her to raise further cancer awareness.

“This led to Debbie been awarded recognition from the British Association for Women in Policing.

“This was a very proud moment for Debbie.

“Debbie has had an amazing life and we are comforted by the love and affection she gave us.

“Debbie never wanted to be defined by her illness, but in her usual unselfish way she wanted to help and prevent other people from suffering.

“Debbie helped people throughout the country, with advice and guidance.

“Despite her profile, Debbie was a private person and at this time we would appreciate time to allow us as a family to come to terms with the passing of such a beautiful woman we are all very proud of.”

Since day one, Debbie refused to let cancer get the better of her. She became a tireless campaigner for cancer awareness and an equally tireless fundraiser for cancer research, raising tens of thousands of pounds through sponsored challenges and charity nights - even a skydive.

Even while attending the police treatment centre in Perthshire, Debbie could be found visiting local businesses, helping to raise awareness of cancer and funds to fight it.

She also became involved with MacMillan Nurses, supporting newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families.

Debbie took all of this on alongside her duties as a Cumbria Police constable.

She undertook a number of roles within the force, including as Currock and Upperby’s community police officer, working in the constabulary’s control room and working as part of a multi-agency hub.

In recognition of Debbie’s ability to inspire others through all she did, she received an award from the British Association for Women in Policing in July 2017.

Even at the awards ceremony she continued to inspire - receiving a standing ovation at the close of her passionate speech to the crowd.

Paying tribute to Debbie, Cumbria Police Chief Constable Michelle Skeer said that it was with “deep sadness” that she learned of her death.

“Any death within the police family hits us all hard. Debbie was a well-liked, professional officer who was highly thought of by her colleagues,” Chief Constable Skeer said.

“She was battling an illness for some time. Her dedication and commitment to her duties as a police officer were a testimony to her determination and strength of character.

“The funds raised for her shows how highly thought of she was by family, friends, colleagues and the wider community.

“All our thoughts are with Debbie’s family and friends at this difficult time and our heartfelt condolences go out to them.”