House of Commons falls silent in tribute to murdered Sergeant Matt Ratana
A minute’s silence has been held in the House of Commons for murdered Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer Sergeant Matt Ratana.
The tribute was paid on Monday (September 28), with Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle inviting members to pay their respects.
He said: “I am sure all honourable members will wish to join me in paying their respects to Police Sergeant Matt Ratana, who was killed in the course of duty on Friday, and sending our condolences to his family.
“Yesterday was National Police Memorial Day, and I ask all honourable members to stand and observe a minute’s silence to mark that occasion and to remember Matt Ratana.”
The highly experienced custody sergeant was shot dead by a handcuffed suspect in the early hours of Friday at a custody suite in Croydon, South London.
His suspected killer, widely reported to be 23-year-old Louis De Zoysa, remains in a critical condition in hospital after he was also hit by a bullet following the killing.
The MPS officer of almost 30 years has been described as someone who epitomised the role police play in protecting others and, as head coach at East Grinstead Rugby Club, was said to be an “irreplaceable figure”.
A string of community leaders and charity bosses in Croydon paid tribute to him in a video shared on social media on Monday.
Superintendent Andy Brittain said “Matt touched the lives of so many,” while colleagues using the MPS Croydon account called the video a “beautiful tribute to our incredible Sergeant”.
So far, the investigation into his death has seen police searching an address on Southbrook Road in Norbury, southwest London, and another on Park Road, Banstead in Surrey.
A police guard was in place outside Courtlands Farm off Park Road on Sunday, following reports from neighbours of an explosion in the early hours of the previous morning.
They arrested a man on suspicion of supplying a firearm at around 2am on Sunday in Norwich, Norfolk.
In the lead-up to Friday’s killing, the shooting suspect had been arrested by patrolling officers for possession of ammunition and possession of Class B drugs with intent to supply following a stop and search, then handcuffed behind his back before being taken to the station in a police vehicle.
According to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), he was taken into the building and sat in a holding area in the custody suite, then opened fire while still in the handcuffs as officers prepared to search him with a metal detector.
No police firearms were discharged in the incident, during which the suspect was also injured, and the case is not being treated as terror-related.
Multiple tributes have been paid to the New Zealand-born sergeant since his death, including from the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Adern.
MPS Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said he was an “extraordinary person” who was “very good at his job”.
She said his “terrible” death might bring home to people the challenges of police work, helping them to “see us police as who we are – human beings, going to work to help people, to support people and to protect people”.
She added: “Matt was the epitome of that.”