29 November 2021

200 police officers form guard of honour at memorial for Met Police sergeant Matt Ratana shot dead on duty

29 November 2021

Tributes are being paid at a memorial service for Matt Ratana the Metropolitan Police sergeant shot dead at a south London custody centre.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick and London Mayor Sadiq Khan joined Sgt Ratana’s partner, Su Bushby, at the service in Westminster.

The 54-year-old New Zealand-born officer died after being shot at a custody suite in Croydon, south London, on September 25 2020.

Home Secretary Priti Patel and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (partially hidden), alongside Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Matt Jukes, Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick and Su Bushby (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

Dame Cressida and Ms Patel exchanged a few words with Ms Bushby at the National Police Memorial near the Mall before joining a procession along Horse Guards Road and Birdcage Walk towards the Royal Military Chapel (the Guard’s Chapel) where the service was held.

Around 200 police officers lined the route dressed in full black ceremonial uniform, including helmets and white gloves.

The officers fell behind Ms Bushby and the other dignitaries as they walked, forming ranks.

When the procession arrived at the chapel, they greeted a group of trainee police puppies that were named the Ratana litter in tribute to the sergeant.

The German shepherds were named by Ms Bushby when she and Dame Cressida visited the Met’s Dog Training Establishment earlier this year.

Sgt Ratana’s partner Su Bushby (centre right) meets a police dog that she named outside the chapel (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

The puppies are named Carter, Matiu, Jonah, Blu, Koru and Whanau. The word whanau means family in the Maori language, in recognition of Sgt Ratana’s heritage and Matiu was his full first name.

Ms Patel said “Good morning, how are you?” to the handlers before petting the dogs.

Ms Bushby was hugged outside the chapel by members of the clergy – Reverend David Crees, London District Chaplain, Reverend Prebendary Jonathan Osborne, the Met’s Senior Chaplain and the Archdeacon of Canterbury Jo-Kelly Moore – who are leading the memorial service.

The officers lining the route then gathered outside before heading into the Wellington Barracks.

Police officers march to the memorial service (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

The hour-long service included hymns, readings and tributes, including a Maori hymn sung by New Zealand cultural group Ngati Ranana.

The formal handing over of a hat and gloves to Ms Bushby also took place inside the chapel.

The event was held in place of the full force funeral that could not go ahead due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Colleagues from many teams across the police force, including the dog unit, mounted branch, and Croydon borough, were present inside the chapel.

Louis De Zoysa, 24, has been charged with Sgt Ratana’s murder.

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