Funeral takes place for officer shot in Croydon Custody Centre

The funeral took place today for Sergeant Matt Ratana, the officer who was shot in Croydon Custody Centre in September.

The 54-year-old was shot just after 2am on 25 September, by a 23-year-old man who then allegedly shot himself in the head.

The event was broadcast on the Met Police’s Facebook page and website, with friends, family and colleagues present and Met Commissioner Cressida Dick giving a tribute.

Ratana had been on the force for almost 30 years and was set to retire.

Speaking at the funeral, Dick said: “Thank you Matt for all you have done and all you have given in nearly 30 years of service to London and the public.

“Matt was a fantastic, professional police officer, a brilliant Sergeant and a leader. He was a supremely loyal colleague and friend, a true team player who mentored and coached generations of officers, young and old/junior and senior.

“The key to what made Matt a great police officer was his lovely nature and his big, generous, lion’s heart.

He brought amazing energy and determination to his job and to his life and was as enthusiastic after 25 years as he was after two.

“He was well known, respected, admired and it seems loved by people in his local communities. He could see things from others’ perspectives and he was always focussed on what was best for the public.

“We miss you, we honour you, we won’t forget you.”

Ratana first joined the Met Police in 1991, after spending his early life in New Zealand.

A big fan of tennis and rugby union, Ratana continued those sports in his time with the Met Police.

In terms of his work with the Met Police, Ratana worked across London, spending time in Hillingdon, Westminster and Hackney as well as south Norwood and Croydon.

It was Croydon Custody Centre as well as other custody centres, where Ratana was working for the last 18 months of his service.

Dick added yesterday: “Today and on the day of his funeral, I am really thinking about Matt.

“I am thinking about his family, his friends, those who were closest to him and his colleagues who were there on the night.

“It’s a tragic, tragic event and the day of the funeral is a really important day. The whole of the Met will be thinking about Matt and those who loved him.

“It was very striking that after Matt was killed, so many of the public – both where he had worked in Croydon and in Hackney – and across London, people who had come across him in his work wanted to contact us or his partner and family, to say how they had found him to be such an excellent, kind, caring and capable police officer.

“The wider public also showed a lot of support for Matt and what he stood for and for the Met.

“The support about and for Matt has been very comforting to his family – his partner has certainly told me so and it has been some comfort to his colleagues, some of whom have been very badly affected by what has happened.”

The man who allegedly shot Ratana is not expected to be well enough to face trial.

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