Police officer shot while detaining man in custody named

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A police officer who died after being shot at a police station in Croydon on Friday (September 25) has been named as Matiu Ratana, known as Matt.

He was identified by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, who described the police sergeant as a “much-loved colleague”.

Sgt Ratana was two months from retirement after a 29-year-long career with the police force.

The New Zealand-born 54-year-old man was “big in stature, big in heart, friendly, capable, a lovely man and highly respected by his colleagues,” Dame Cressida said.

She said: “A lovely man, respected by his colleagues, officers, staff and of course by members of the public, including, I may say, suspects arrested or dealt with in custody.

“He was very well known locally and he will be remembered so fondly in Croydon and missed there, as well as in the Met and in the rugby world.”

Dame Cressida said he leaves behind a partner and an adult son from a previous relationship.

She also took the opportunity to warn against speculation over Sgt Ratana’s death.

She said: “I do understand that there is great concern about how this happened, how this could have happened.

“I want to reassure everyone the facts will be established, we owe that to Matt. We owe that to his family and of course we owe that to other police officers.

“But we do need to give the investigators the space to do their job and I must say that speculation at this time is unhelpful and may even harm our efforts.”

Dame Cressida said he joined the Met in 1991, adding: “He was a talented police officer, captain of his recruits training class.

“He was posted to Charing Cross, he worked as a constable on the streets of the West End and in Westminster in a variety of roles.

“Later, he served on our Territorial Support Group across the whole of London, often dealing with the most violent and dangerous criminals.

“Later, he worked as a constable on the streets at Hillingdon, and in 2010 he was promoted to sergeant where he worked in Hackney, first of all on a response team.”

Sgt Ratana later worked with a neighbourhood team in Hackney before moving to Croydon in 2015.

Dame Cressida added: “The important thing to say is that he had a fantastic career, he gave 29 years of his life to the public of London, he has now tragically been killed on duty.

“His service will never be forgotten and we are deeply grateful for it and it is a really distinguished service from a lovely, lovely, much respected police officer.”

Asked about the details released by the IOPC, Dame Cressida said: “I’m afraid I can’t tell you anything more about what happened on the street or as he came into the custody centre.

“What I will say is that officers deal with arresting people on the street, as I say, hundreds of times a day, they assess the information, they assess the risk, they’re very highly trained, we give our officers a great deal of safety training and they make their decisions according to what is presented to them.

“This is a desperately sad incident, it is an extraordinarily rare event, of course, for a police officer to be murdered.”

When asked if any extra measures would be put in place for officers, Dame Cressida said: “Let me reassure everybody that we will establish the facts and that if there is anything to be learned from what happened here we will learn it and we will make sure that any changes are put into practice that should be.

“At the moment, what I can say is we have reissued to our staff in the Met – and I’m sure chief constables up and down the country will have done the same – our regular guidance about how we keep ourselves safe on the streets.

“Officers are highly trained, very professional, very well supported and support each other.

“It’s very, very rare (a police officer being murdered) and it’s an awful, awful thing but I do believe that we have good training, very professional people, good equipment and good leadership.

“Of course, if there’s anything we should change, we will.”



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