Croydon police shooting: Funeral of Sergeant Matiu Ratana to take place

Sergeant Matiu Ratana
Sergeant Matt Ratana was described by those who knew him as a 'gentle giant'. Credit: PA

The funeral of the police sergeant who was shot dead in a Croydon custody suite is to be held today.

Matiu Ratana, known as Matt, was killed on September 25 as he prepared to search a handcuffed suspect.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick will be among the speakers representing colleagues, friends and family paying tribute to the New Zealand-born Sgt Ratana at the service being held in Sussex.

It will be led by Prebendary Jonathan Osborne MBE, senior chaplain at the Metropolitan Police, and Maori speaker the Ven Jo Kelly-Moore, Archdeacon of Canterbury.

Previous tributes paid to Sgt Ratana following his death remembered the police officer of almost 30 years as a “gentle giant” and “irreplaceable figure” who was part of the “police family”.

Sgt Ratana was killed in a shooting at Croydon Custody suite. Credit: PA

The funeral on Wednesday is due to be broadcast live from around 11.25 am to ensure the 54-year-old's colleagues, friends and family in the UK, New Zealand and around the world can join the service.

Well-wishers will be able to watch through the Metropolitan Police’s Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as on its website.

The force said that due to coronavirus restrictions, it was unable to provide a force service funeral for Sgt Ratana, but a full service memorial will be planned for when restrictions are lifted.

Speaking ahead of the service, Dame Cressida spoke of "how loved" Sgt Ratana was by his both his colleagues and the public.

She added: "He was a truly skilled, very professional, very capable police officer and it’s a huge loss."

Dame Cressida went on to say: "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."

The funeral will be followed by a private cremation service.