The family of a young Trowbridge police officer killed in a car crash on Monday said they have drawn great comfort from the hundreds of messages posted in his memory online.

The parents of PC Dan Cooper, a former Corsham School pupil who lived in Beancare, near Melksham, said he died doing what he truly loved and believed in.

PC Cooper, 22, had been driving a marked car while on duty in Westwood Road near Bradford on Avon, when his vehicle left the road and struck a tree at around 8pm, as he responded to an incident.

He had started his career as a special at Corsham Police Station at 18, which he did for a year before being accepted to Wiltshire Police as a constable at Trowbridge a year later - where he has been based since.

His mother Heather Cooper, 46, a theatre manager at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, said: “I know that everyone thinks their child is the best and the most beautiful, but from reading all the comments people have left on Facebook I can see how much he meant to people.

“He was just somebody who wanted to give to the community, was just so good around people and always willing to do things for others.

“Being a police officer is not an easy job and he knew the criticism that they sometimes come under, but from living with him we got to know more about the police ourselves and how they are like a big family.

“He was so professional and I used to joke with him about whether he would give me a speeding ticket if he caught me.”

Mrs Cooper along with her husband Andrew, 47, a communications manager at Paradigm in Corsham, said it was important for them to thank the police for the support they have always showed their son and to highlight the hard work Dan and his colleagues do.

Mr Cooper said: “We got a good insight from Dan and they all look after one another and do an absolutely brilliant job.

“He never had a day off sick, he really loved his job and he did everything by the book, he was very professional."

PC Cooper's younger brother, Ollie, 18, is studying Sport and Exercise Science at Gloucester University.

While studying history, psychology, sociology and economics at Corsham School, he was also a member of Rudloe Air Cadets and played rugby and competed in athletics for them while he was a member.

Mrs Cooper said: “It wouldn’t have mattered what he wanted to do in life, we would have supported him in anything."

No date has been set for PC Cooper’s funeral as yet, but the family are due to meet with the funeral directors at the end of the week.