Police chiefs have echoed tributes to a Huddersfield woman who served as a Special Constable.

Dee Collins, West Yorkshire’s temporary Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, has spoken of her shock at the death of volunteer police officer Sara Gilks.

She said: “Our force is stunned by this simply awful news and thanks to everyone for their kind words and thoughts.”

Robert Sutcliffe updates his report on the sad death of Dr Sara Gilks

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And Supt Paul Jeffrey, of Kirklees Police , said: “Sara was very highly thought of in Kirklees District and won several commendations for her work as a special constable.

“The fact that she was a special constable speaks volumes for her character and her dedication to helping others.

“Colleagues have been very distressed to hear of her death and she will be greatly missed.

“Our thoughts remain with her family and we are doing what we can to support them at this extremely sad time.”

READ MORE: Sad sudden death of Dr Sara Gilks

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Dr Gilks, a former Almondbury High School pupil , who worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Manchester, died at her home on Saturday aged 32.

Her death has led to an outpouring of grief with dozens of shocked messages published by her many friends on Facebook.

A former male school friend of Sara’s, who didn’t want to be named, said: “I knew her when she was at Almondbury High School and got on all right with her.

“She was a fun-loving girl. I remember seeing her visiting the Visage and Glitterball nightclub, (formerly Ethos and Jumpin Jaks), at Folly Hall.”

Robert Sutcliffe's original report

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A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said of Sara’s death: “It is being treated as non-suspicious, so it will be for the coroner to determine a cause of death.

“Following initial enquiries the matter is being treated as a non-suspicious sudden death. A file will be prepared for the coroner.”

Sara enjoyed a distinguished academic career, graduating from the University of Huddersfield with First Class Honours in forensic and analytic chemistry in 2009 before gaining a PhD from the University of Manchester.

She also worked for nine months as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Sheffield from March-November 2014.

No-one from Sara’s family wished to comment.