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Met Commissioner leads memorial to Sgt Matt Ratana

Metropolitan Police colleagues have led the memorial service to Sgt Matt Ratana.

A guard of honour through Whitehall and a memorial service has marked the life of Sgt Matt Ratana.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressdia Dick led the policing contingent in the formal march from the National Police Memorial next to Horse Guard’s Parade to the Royal Military Chapel in Westminster.

Sgt Ratana’s partner Su Bushby was part of the procession party and also read a poem during the service.

Also present were Police Federation Chair John Apter, Metropolitan Police Federation Chair Ken Marsh, colleagues from Croydon and members of specialist teams from across the Met.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and New Zealand’s High Commissioner were among the other dignitaries in attendance.

Friends from East Grinstead Rugby Club, where he was Head Coach, were also present and they ran a live feed of the event for supporters and friends who could not attend.

The Service was led by the Police Chaplain.

On 25 September last year, Sgt Ratana was murdered whilst on duty in his role as Custody Sergeant at Croydon.

The service had been delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak but the Commissioner had told colleagues and his family that the commitment to honour his memory would be fulfilled.

The celebration combined both UK and Maori traditions in the order of Service.

Dame Cressida described him as a "shared leader and colleague" who had shown determination courage and bravery. He had "epitomised the best of the Service and had left an extraordinary legacy".

The Commissioner said: “Our mighty Matt has fallen. But this memorial service provides an important opportunity to remember the love, the goodness, the friendship that we received from him."

“Many tributes have been paid to Matt by family colleagues and friends. Everyone here and watching online will have your own memory of Matt. Matt was a leader a coach a mentor, an inspiration. Human, compassionate decent. A brilliant teammate and a brilliant partner. He made people feel safe." 

He was born in the Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand and was of Maori descent. He moved to England in 1989, working for the Metropolitan Police for nearly 30 years.

Sgt Ratana’s partner Su Bushby was part of the procession party 

Sgt Ratana also served with New Zealand Police, joining the British High Commission Wing in 2003 and serving in the Auckland City and Counties Manukau police districts before returning to the UK in 2008. 

The Commissioner said: “Matt’s death challenges us in so many ways. But the greatest challenge is to ourselves. To live up to his legacy. His name and what he stood for will live on in the Met, in the Foundation named after him and in so many hearts. Matt will never be forgotten.”

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