Fallen sergeant Matt Ratana honoured at Guards Chapel memorial service
- Credit: PA
Tributes were paid to former Met officer Matt Ratana at a special memorial service in the Guards Chapel this morning (November 29).
Sgt Ratana was tragically shot on September 25 last year inside a police station in Croydon where he worked as a custody sergeant.
The officer, who had a distinguished 29-year-long career in the force, sadly later died of his injuries.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Met commissioner Dame Cressida Dick joined home secretary Priti Patel and Sgt Ratana's partner Su Bushby at today's service.
Plans for a full force funeral for Matt - who worked on Hackney’s response and neighbourhoods teams for five years from 2010 - were cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The group joined a procession towards the Guards Chapel, officially the Royal Military Chapel in Westminster.
About 200 police officers, dressed in full black ceremonial uniform, lined the route.
Along the way Ms Bushby and Ms Patel petted a family of trainee police dog puppies which the former named in honour of her New Zealand-born partner.
The German shepherds were named by Ms Bushby when she and the commissioner visited the Met’s Police Dog Training Establishment earlier this year.
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The puppies are named Carter, Matiu, Jonah, Blu, Koru and Whanau.
Whanau means family in the Maori language of New Zealand, while Matiu was Sgt Ratana’s full first name.
Dame Cressida Dick described the service for Matt Ratana as a “beautiful memorial service”.
She said: “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.
“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."
Asked about the safety of police officers, she said: “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.”