A minute's silence for Sergeant Matt Ratana

Police officers and staff from forces across the country held a minute’s silence this morning to pay respects to Sergeant Matt Ratana, one week on from his murder.

Oct 2, 2020
By Tony Thompson
The MPS Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner with colleagues

At 11am, Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Cressida Dick and her management board led the silence outside the Empress State Building in West London. Similar scenes have been seen across the country.

Over the past week, those who worked with, and were close to Sgt Ratana, have been sharing their memories of their much-missed colleague.

Chief Inspector Craig Knight, who worked with Sgt Ratana when he was a sergeant within his neighbourhood command team at Croydon, as well as at several public order events, said: “Matt was one of the most caring, passionate and dedicated officers I have ever had the privilege to work alongside.

“I often gave him an issue knowing that he would deal with it without question, thoroughly and with utter professionalism. The welfare and support of everyone around him always came first before himself.

“I recall being in the middle of a public order situation as a commander and his hand grabbing my shoulder politely but firmly reminding me I couldn’t command whilst being in the middle of it all. I remember he did this so calmly it was as if the world slowed down around us long enough to allow me to recognise and respond to his guidance. He was right of course.

“I also recall he and I dealing with a really complex and difficult personnel matter. He went out of his way not once but regularly and often to support the officer in question and I knew that when Matt was dealing with it, it was going to be OK.

“Matt, I hope you’re sat back on a deckchair watching the rugby and enjoying a beer. Your work here is done, Your legacy will remain forever. You will be missed by all of us.”

Sergeant Chris Excell, who knew Sgt Ratana for 12 years and worked with him in Croydon, said: “Matt taught me everything that I know. As well as a mentor, he was a friend. He was someone who you could call up on the phone and just pick up exactly where you left off.

“Matt was always there for advice, he had the time to talk, and you always felt like you could be yourself around him.

“He was really caring and compassionate – an exemplary officer. If you were having a down day, his infectious character helped us all and he easily lifted your spirits. I remember the last thing he said to me – it was that a rubbish day only lasts for 24 hours. I’ll never forget those words.”

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