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Hundreds of Met Police officers today lined the streets of London to pay their respects to slain sergeant Matt Ratana in a special memorial service.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick and London Mayor Sadiq Khan were among those present at the service in memory of Sgt Ratana, who was fatally shot by a suspect inside Croydon Custody Centre in September last year. 

Dame Cressida and Ms Patel exchanged a few words with Sgt Ratana’s partner, Su Bushby at the National Police Memorial near the Mall.

Together they walked through a special ‘Guard of Honour’ along Horse Guards Road and Birdcage Walk towards the Royal Military Chapel, also known as the Guard’s Chapel.

There specially invited guests were invited to attend a service to remember the 54-year-old, who served a distinguished 29-year-long career in the force. He was planning to retire at the time of his death.

Hundreds of Met Police officers today lined the streets of London to pay their respects to former cop Matt Ratana in a special memorial service

Hundreds of Met Police officers today lined the streets of London to pay their respects to former cop Matt Ratana in a special memorial service

Hundreds of Met Police officers today lined the streets of London to pay their respects to former cop Matt Ratana in a special memorial service

Home Secretary Priti Patel, Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Sgt Ratana's partner Su Busby (all pictured here) were among those present at the service in memory of Sgt Ratana, who was fatally shot inside Croydon Custody Centre in September last year

Home Secretary Priti Patel, Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Sgt Ratana's partner Su Busby (all pictured here) were among those present at the service in memory of Sgt Ratana, who was fatally shot inside Croydon Custody Centre in September last year

Home Secretary Priti Patel, Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Sgt Ratana’s partner Su Busby (all pictured here) were among those present at the service in memory of Sgt Ratana, who was fatally shot inside Croydon Custody Centre in September last year

Together they walked through a special 'Guard of Honour' along Horse Guards Road and Birdcage Walk towards the Royal Military Chapel, also known as the Guard's Chapel. Pictured: Police officers walk ahead of a memorial service for former officer Matt Ratana

Together they walked through a special 'Guard of Honour' along Horse Guards Road and Birdcage Walk towards the Royal Military Chapel, also known as the Guard's Chapel. Pictured: Police officers walk ahead of a memorial service for former officer Matt Ratana

Together they walked through a special ‘Guard of Honour’ along Horse Guards Road and Birdcage Walk towards the Royal Military Chapel, also known as the Guard’s Chapel. Pictured: Police officers walk ahead of a memorial service for former officer Matt Ratana

Specially invited guests were then invited to attend the Royal Military Chapel in Westminster, also known as the Guards Chapel, to remember the 54-year-old (pictured), who served a distinguished 29-year-long career in the force

Specially invited guests were then invited to attend the Royal Military Chapel in Westminster, also known as the Guards Chapel, to remember the 54-year-old (pictured), who served a distinguished 29-year-long career in the force

Specially invited guests were then invited to attend the Royal Military Chapel in Westminster, also known as the Guards Chapel, to remember the 54-year-old (pictured), who served a distinguished 29-year-long career in the force

At the chapel they petted a family of trainee police dog puppies which Ms Bushby named in honour of New Zealand-born Sgt Ratana.

Ms Patel said ‘Good morning, how are you?’ to the dog handlers before petting the puppies.

The German shepherds were named by Ms Bushby when she and the Commissioner visited the Met’s Police Dog Training Establishment earlier this year.

The puppies are named Carter, Matiu, Jonah, Blu, Koru and Whanau. The word whanau means family in the Maori language of New Zealand and Matiu was Sgt Ratana’s full first name.

Ms Bushby was hugged outside the chapel by members of the clergy – Reverend David Crees, London District Chaplain, Reverend Prebendary Jonathan Osborne, the Met’s Senior Chaplain and the Archdeacon of Canterbury Jo-Kelly Moore.

Inside the chapel, Reverend Osborne led the hour-long service, featuring hymns and readings. 

Police officers march to a memorial service to remember and celebrate the life of Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matt Ratana

Police officers march to a memorial service to remember and celebrate the life of Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matt Ratana

Police officers march to a memorial service to remember and celebrate the life of Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matt Ratana

Hundreds of police officers turned out for the event, all of them wearing full black ceremonial uniform, to pay their respects to Sgt Ratana

Hundreds of police officers turned out for the event, all of them wearing full black ceremonial uniform, to pay their respects to Sgt Ratana

Hundreds of police officers turned out for the event, all of them wearing full black ceremonial uniform, to pay their respects to Sgt Ratana 

Police officers stand and form a guard along the road as part of the memorial service for former officer Matt Ratana, who was shot in Croydon Police Station last year

Police officers stand and form a guard along the road as part of the memorial service for former officer Matt Ratana, who was shot in Croydon Police Station last year

Police officers stand and form a guard along the road as part of the memorial service for former officer Matt Ratana, who was shot in Croydon Police Station last year

They petted a family of trainee police dog puppies which Ms Bushby named in honour of New Zealand-born Sgt Ratana. Ms Patel said 'Good morning, how are you?' to the dog handlers before petting the puppies

They petted a family of trainee police dog puppies which Ms Bushby named in honour of New Zealand-born Sgt Ratana. Ms Patel said 'Good morning, how are you?' to the dog handlers before petting the puppies

They petted a family of trainee police dog puppies which Ms Bushby named in honour of New Zealand-born Sgt Ratana. Ms Patel said ‘Good morning, how are you?’ to the dog handlers before petting the puppies

It also featured tributes, including from those representing Sgt Ratana’s different passions outside of policing – rugby and motor biking.

A Maori hymn was sung by Ngati Ranana, a New Zealand cultural group. Colleagues from many teams across the police force, including the dog unit, mounted branch, and Croydon borough, were present inside the chapel.

Speaking to journalists after the event, Dame Cressida said: ‘We were unable to have a full force funeral because of the Covid restrictions.

‘So it was a great moment for so many colleagues to come together, together with Matt’s partner Su and her family and friends. A fantastic tribute, very moving indeed.’

She added: ‘I met Matt on a number of occasions, I didn’t know him as well as so many others but he had a huge presence, he was a big man, he always had a smile, he was very kind. 

Police officers line Horse Guards Road ahead of a memorial service to remember and celebrate the life of Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matt Ratana

Police officers line Horse Guards Road ahead of a memorial service to remember and celebrate the life of Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matt Ratana

Police officers line Horse Guards Road ahead of a memorial service to remember and celebrate the life of Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matt Ratana

Police officers walk along Horse Guards Road ahead of a memorial service to remember the 54-year-old sergeant, who was shot in the chest as he prepared to search a handcuffed suspect at a police station in Croydon

Police officers walk along Horse Guards Road ahead of a memorial service to remember the 54-year-old sergeant, who was shot in the chest as he prepared to search a handcuffed suspect at a police station in Croydon

Police officers walk along Horse Guards Road ahead of a memorial service to remember the 54-year-old sergeant, who was shot in the chest as he prepared to search a handcuffed suspect at a police station in Croydon

Around 200 police officers had earlier lined the route of Horse Guards Road and Birdcage Walk leading up to the chapel where the memorial service Sgt Ratana was held

Around 200 police officers had earlier lined the route of Horse Guards Road and Birdcage Walk leading up to the chapel where the memorial service Sgt Ratana was held

Around 200 police officers had earlier lined the route of Horse Guards Road and Birdcage Walk leading up to the chapel where the memorial service Sgt Ratana was held

‘He thought about everybody else all the time. I used to see him on our big public order and events.

‘He was a totally reliable presence, hugely experienced, incredibly calm. Just a great, great police officer who inspired everybody he met, police and public.

‘In his last role, in our detention area in the custody suite, people liked him, looked up to him, recognised his humanity. He was just a great guy, very well known across across London.’ 

Around 200 police officers had earlier lined the route of Horse Guards Road and Birdcage Walk leading up to the chapel where the memorial service Sgt Ratana was held.

The officers were all dressed in full black ceremonial uniform, including helmets and white gloves.

The service was being held just over a year after Sgt Ratana was shot at a custody suite in Croydon, south London, on September 25 2020. He later died of his injuries. 

At the chapel they petted a family of trainee police dog puppies which Ms Bushby named in honour of New Zealand-born Sgt Ratana

At the chapel they petted a family of trainee police dog puppies which Ms Bushby named in honour of New Zealand-born Sgt Ratana

At the chapel they petted a family of trainee police dog puppies which Ms Bushby named in honour of New Zealand-born Sgt Ratana 

The German shepherds were named by Ms Bushby when she and the Commissioner visited the Met's Police Dog Training Establishment earlier this year

The German shepherds were named by Ms Bushby when she and the Commissioner visited the Met's Police Dog Training Establishment earlier this year

The German shepherds were named by Ms Bushby when she and the Commissioner visited the Met’s Police Dog Training Establishment earlier this year

The puppies are named Carter, Matiu, Jonah, Blu, Koru and Whanau. The word whanau means family in the Maori language of New Zealand and Matiu was Sgt Ratana's full first name

The puppies are named Carter, Matiu, Jonah, Blu, Koru and Whanau. The word whanau means family in the Maori language of New Zealand and Matiu was Sgt Ratana's full first name

The puppies are named Carter, Matiu, Jonah, Blu, Koru and Whanau. The word whanau means family in the Maori language of New Zealand and Matiu was Sgt Ratana’s full first name

Around 200 police officers had earlier lined the route of Horse Guards Road and Birdcage Walk leading up to the chapel where the memorial service Sgt Ratana was held

Around 200 police officers had earlier lined the route of Horse Guards Road and Birdcage Walk leading up to the chapel where the memorial service Sgt Ratana was held

Around 200 police officers had earlier lined the route of Horse Guards Road and Birdcage Walk leading up to the chapel where the memorial service Sgt Ratana was held

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner was asked about the safety of police officers after the memorial service for Sergeant Matt Ratana.

She told journalists: ‘Our frontline officers are incredibly courageous, as Matt was.

‘They give of themselves, they put themselves in the way of danger, they help people at the worst of times in their lives. And, like Matt, they are compassionate and decent, kind and generous.

‘We ask an awful lot of them, we public. And today is the day to acknowledge the frontline people that Matt loved and worked with, as well as a Matt Ratana, a fantastic police officer.’

Louis de Zoysa, 23, of Banstead, Surrey was charged with Sgt Ratan’s murder, as well as possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition. 

De Zoysa answered ‘Yeah’ when asked to confirm his identity during a brief hearing at the Old Bailey in September. A review hearing is due to take place in December. 

Source: Daily Mail UK

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