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Search wands and armour issued to more officers after Sgt Ratana

The Metropolitan Police are issuing more officers with search wands and body armour after the murder of Sergeant Matt Ratana.

More Met officers are being issued with wands to find weapons before suspects are taken into custody. Officers who are the first point of contact in a custody suite will also now wear body armour.

Sgt Ratana was shot in the chest at Croydon Custody Centre in south London in the early hours of September 25 as he prepared to search a handcuffed suspect.

Dame Cressida said officers dealing with the most violent offenders had already been using wands, but the tactic is now being rolled out across the Met.

Speaking today (20 November) on an LBC radio phone-in, Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said the force has made changes to custody suites in the wake of his death.

She said: “First of all, sergeants who are the custody detention officers in charge - when they go to speak to somebody in the first instance will always be wearing body armour, even though they are indoors.

“And the second thing we have done, which hopefully keeps the custody area safer and everybody safer, is that out on the street more and more of our officers will be using, as a supplement to the search – stop and search or whatever has happened at the point of arrest – they can use wands.

“So, this is just an extra protection, never ever to substitute for a search but may just find a weapon or a knife.”

She described Sgt Ratana as “a wonderful, wonderful man, lost in a senseless killing. He epitomised the best of the best of the Metropolitan Police”.

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