A police officer who was shot dead in a police station in Croydon on Friday (September 25) was known as Matiu Ratana, known as Matt.
He was identified by City Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, who referred to the police sergeant as a “beloved colleague”.
Sgt Ratana was with the police force two months before retiring after a 29-year career.
The New Zealand-born, 54-year-old man was “tall, big at heart, kind, capable, a kind man, and well respected by his colleagues,” said Dame Cressida.
She said, “A kind man who is respected by his colleagues, officials, staff and, of course, members of the public, including suspects who have been arrested or taken into custody.
“He was well known locally and will be so well remembered and missed in Croydon, as well as in the Met and the rugby world.”
Dame Cressida said he was leaving a partner and adult son from a previous relationship.
She also took the opportunity to warn of speculation about Sgt Ratana’s death.
She said, “I understand that there is great concern about how this happened, how this could have happened.
“I want to reassure everyone that the facts will be revealed, we owe it to Matt. We owe that to his family and of course to other police officers.
“But we have to give investigators the space to do their job, and I have to say speculation at this point is not helpful and can even affect our efforts.”
Dame Cressida said he came to the Met in 1991, adding, “He was a talented police officer, captain of his recruit training class.
“He was transferred to Charing Cross and worked as a police officer on the streets of the West End and in Westminster in various roles.
“Later he was a member of our Territorial Support Group across London and was often involved with the most violent and dangerous criminals.
“He later worked as a cop on the streets of Hillingdon and was promoted to sergeant in 2010, where he worked in Hackney, initially on a response team.”
Sgt Ratana later worked with a neighborhood team in Hackney before moving to Croydon in 2015.
Dame Cressida added: “The important thing to say is that he had a fantastic career. He gave the London public 29 years of his life. He has now been tragically killed on duty.
“His service will never be forgotten and we are deeply grateful for it and it is a really excellent service from a lovable, lovable, very respected police officer.”
When asked about the details released by the IOPC, Dame Cressida said, “I’m afraid I can’t tell you anything more about what happened on the street or when he came to the detention center.
“What I’m going to say is that officials deal with arresting people on the street, as I say, hundreds of times a day, they evaluate the information, they evaluate the risk, they are very well trained, we give our officials a lot of safety training and they make their decisions based on what is presented to them.
“This is an extremely sad incident. It is of course an extremely rare occurrence for a police officer to be murdered.”
When asked if additional action would be taken for officers, Dame Cressida said, “Let me assure everyone that we are establishing the facts and that if there is anything to be learned from what has happened here, we will learn and do it Make sure that all changes are put into practice.
“For now, I can say that we have re-hired our staff at the Met – and I’m sure police chiefs across the country have done the same – our regular guidance on how to protect ourselves on the street.
“The officers are highly qualified, very professional, very well supported and support one another.
“It’s very, very rare (a cop is murdered) and it’s a terrible, terrible thing, but I believe that we have good training, very professional people, good equipment and good leadership.
“If we should change something, of course we will.”