Cambridgeshire police paid tribute to the police officer shot dead by a handcuffed suspect at a south London station.

PUBLISHED: 11:40 26 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:40 26 September 2020

Officers and civilian staff from Cambridgeshire Constabulary (pictured) paid tribute to Metropolitan police Matiu Ratana (pictured) following his death after a 23-year-old gunman opened fire at Croydon Custody Centre in south London in the early hours of Friday. Picture; CAMBS POLICE

Officers and civilian staff from Cambridgeshire Constabulary (pictured) paid tribute to Metropolitan police Matiu Ratana (pictured) following his death after a 23-year-old gunman opened fire at Croydon Custody Centre in south London in the early hours of Friday. Picture; CAMBS POLICE

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Cambridgeshire police paid tribute to the police officer shot dead by a handcuffed suspect at a south London station.

Officers and civilian staff from Cambridgeshire Constabulary paid tribute to Metropolitan police Matiu Ratana  following his death after a 23-year-old gunman opened fire at Croydon Custody Centre in south London in the early hours of Friday. Picture; CAMBS POLICEOfficers and civilian staff from Cambridgeshire Constabulary paid tribute to Metropolitan police Matiu Ratana following his death after a 23-year-old gunman opened fire at Croydon Custody Centre in south London in the early hours of Friday. Picture; CAMBS POLICE

Tributes have poured in for Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matiu Ratana following his death after a 23-year-old shooter opened fire at Croydon Custody Centre in south London in the early hours of Friday.

Officers and staff from across Cambridgeshire came together to pay their respects to their fallen Metropolitan Police Service colleague with a minute’s silence.

“An awfully sad day for the policing family,” said a spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Constabulary.

The flag at police headquarters was also lowered as a sign of respect.

Officers and civilian staff from Cambridgeshire Constabulary paid tribute to Metropolitan police Matiu Ratana  following his death after a 23-year-old gunman opened fire at Croydon Custody Centre in south London in the early hours of Friday. Picture; CAMBS POLICEOfficers and civilian staff from Cambridgeshire Constabulary paid tribute to Metropolitan police Matiu Ratana following his death after a 23-year-old gunman opened fire at Croydon Custody Centre in south London in the early hours of Friday. Picture; CAMBS POLICE

Some 25 other officers have been murdered since 2020, according to the UK’s police roll of honour.

He is the first to be killed by a firearm in the line of duty since Pcs Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, in September 2012.

They were murdered by Dale Cregan in a gun and grenade attack while responding to a report of a burglary in Greater Manchester.

In July the same year, off-duty police officer Pc Ian Dibell, 41, was shot dead while trying to stop shooter Peter Reeve, 64, who had fired at a couple in Clacton, Essex.

Officers and civilian staff from Cambridgeshire Constabulary paid tribute to Metropolitan police Matiu Ratana  following his death after a 23-year-old gunman opened fire at Croydon Custody Centre in south London in the early hours of Friday. Picture; CAMBS POLICEOfficers and civilian staff from Cambridgeshire Constabulary paid tribute to Metropolitan police Matiu Ratana following his death after a 23-year-old gunman opened fire at Croydon Custody Centre in south London in the early hours of Friday. Picture; CAMBS POLICE

In March 2009, police officer Stephen Carroll was shot dead while responding to a call in Craigavon, Co Armagh.

Pc Ricky Gray was shot in the head by a shooter who then turned the weapon on himself in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, in May 2007.

Pc Sharon Beshenivsky was shot dead when she and a colleague tried to stop armed robbers in Bradford in November 2005.

American David Bieber murdered Pc Ian Broadhurst and tried to murder Pcs Neil Roper and James Banks in 2003 in Leeds.

Officers and civilian staff from Cambridgeshire Constabulary (pictured) paid tribute to Metropolitan police Matiu Ratana (pictured) following his death after a 23-year-old gunman opened fire at Croydon Custody Centre in south London in the early hours of Friday. Picture; CAMBS POLICEOfficers and civilian staff from Cambridgeshire Constabulary (pictured) paid tribute to Metropolitan police Matiu Ratana (pictured) following his death after a 23-year-old gunman opened fire at Croydon Custody Centre in south London in the early hours of Friday. Picture; CAMBS POLICE

Sgt Ratana, known as Matt to family and friends, thought working in the custody suite was his “safest option” as he neared the end of his lengthy police career, friend Neil Donohue said.

Sgt Ratana, 54, was originally from New Zealand and joined the force in 1991.

Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, who with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, led police officers across the capital in a minute’s silence on Friday, described Sgt Ratana as a “talented police officer”.

He was “big in stature, big in heart, friendly, capable, a lovely man and highly respected by his colleagues”, and leaves behind a partner and adult son, Dame Cressida said.

The suspect, who had been arrested for possession of Class B drugs with intent to supply and possession of ammunition, also shot himself during the incident at about 2.15am and is in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

No police firearms were fired and the case is not being treated as terror-related.

A murder probe has been launched and investigators from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog attended the scene.

The suspect was arrested by regular officers following a stop and search, then handcuffed behind his back before being taken to the station in a police vehicle.

The IOPC said he was taken into the building and sat in a holding area in the custody suite, then opened fire while still in handcuffs as officers prepared to search him with a metal detector.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “It is at that point that shots were fired resulting in the fatal injuries to the officer and critical injuries to the man.

“A non-police issue firearm, which appears to be a revolver, has been recovered from the scene. Further ballistic work will be required.”


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