Net widens in police sergeant Matt Ratana shooting as cops search Pollards Hill, Banstead and Norbury addresses

The investigation into the shooting of policeman Matt Ratana at Croydon on Thursday has widened to stretch to Surrey, Norwich and further into London.

Detectives investigating the murder of Met Police Sergeant Matt Ratana have been working around the clock.

Police officers and police staff from across the Met are assisting the investigation into his murder, since it was launched by homicide investigators from the Specialist Crime Command yesterday, Friday 25 September.

These officers include forensic specialists, search teams and local officers.

Detectives are carrying out enquiries at four locations in both London and Surrey, where detailed searches are taking place. These locations are:

  • -Croydon Custody Centre, where the shooting occurred.
  • -An area of London Road, Pollards Hill where the suspect was initially arrested by officers.
  • -An address on Southbrook Road, Norbury.
  • -A second address on Park Road, Banstead, Surrey, where local police officers from Surrey Police are assisting.

Enquiries at these locations include rigorous forensic searches which are expected to take days to complete.

A man was also arrested in the early hours of Sunday 27 September in Norwich, Norfolk on suspicion of supplying a firearm. He is currently in custody at a South London police station.

This arrest, which occurred at approximately 0200hrs, forms part of the investigation into the murder of Sergeant Ratana.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy, responsible for the investigation, said: “Yesterday was a dark and sad day for the police family, and my thoughts are with Matt’s partner, his family and colleagues here in London and across the world at this terrible time.

“Everyone working on this investigation, from the forensic specialists to the local officers holding the cordons, does so with a heavy heart but a determination to find justice for our colleague and his family.

“Almost forty-eight hours into the investigation, we are pursuing various lines of enquiry and recovering evidence from the four crime scenes.

“We have recovered a gun from custody where Matt was shot, which is being forensically examined.

“We have CCTV of what happened in custody and body-worn video from police officers which is being carefully reviewed by investigators, and will be considered alongside the officer’s accounts.

“The suspect remains in hospital in a critical condition and due to his state we are not able to speak to him.

“Our murder investigation will seek to establish why Matt was shot. One of my priorities is to ensure any future criminal prosecution is not jeopardised. I know this is important to the public too and I’d ask for everyone not to speculate.

“I would like to reiterate that this a murder investigation and not a counter terrorism investigation.

“Finally, I’d like to thank everyone for your continued support which means so much to everyone who knew Matt.”

No other arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.

Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “Matt Ratana, 54, a custody sergeant, joined the Met in 1991 and was captain of his recruit training class. Posted to Charing Cross and worked as a constable on the streets of the West End and Westminster in various roles. Later, he worked with the Territorial Support Group and in Hillingdon.

“In 2010 he worked as a sergeant in Hackney in the response team and in neighbourhoods. Five years later, in 2015, he moved to Croydon, where he worked in response, in neighbourhoods and then our detention command.

“In all, nearly 30 years spent as an uniformed officer serving the public of London.

“He was originally from Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, and educated, I believe, at Palmerston North Boys School, where he developed a passion for rugby.

“After Otago University, he came to London in 1989 and played for London Irish. He was a leader in his sport, well known as a player in several teams including the Met Police, and as a coach, most recently at East Grinstead.

“As a colleague, he was big in stature and big-hearted, a friendly, capable police officer. A lovely man, highly respected by officers and staff, and by the public, including suspects he arrested or dealt with in custody.

“He was very well known locally and will be remembered so fondly in Croydon, as well as in the Met and the rugby world.

“He leaves a partner and an adult son form a previous relationship. Our thoughts are with them.

“The suspect, a 23-year-old man, was arrested by regular patrolling local officers for possession of ammunition and possession of class B drugs with intent to supply in Pollards Hill, SW16, after a stop and search. He remains in hospital in a critical but stable condition.

“Our investigation is led by homicide investigators from the Specialist Crime Command. We are not treating it as a counter-terrorism incident. We are doing all we can to establish a motive for the murder.

“Having retrieved CCTV and body-worn video, the footage is being reviewed in detail and we are working closely with the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

“I understand the great concern about how this happened and we will establish the facts. We owe it to Matt, his loved ones and all other officers. But we need to give investigators space to do their job. Speculation at this time is unhelpful and may even harm our efforts.

“Every day, the Metropolitan Police arrest several hundred suspects, many of them violent criminals who pose a risk to the public.

“The safety of my officers is a top priority and very close to my heart. We are a large, professional, resilient, and very experienced police service. As we mourn the loss of a much-loved colleague, senselessly killed, be under no illusion that our resolve to protect the public and to tackle violent crime – whoever may be responsible for it – will be undiminished.”

A statement from the Independent Office for Police Conduct said: “We will be looking at all of the police contact with the man from the time he was detained leading up to the tragic incident. It is understandable there will be speculation and questions asked about how this incident unfolded and we are seeking answers. It is important that we independently establish the sequence of events.

“Given the clear trauma suffered by those officers who were present during the incident, they have not yet provided their initial accounts. The work to obtain these will continue next week.

“We have obtained CCTV from the custody centre and body worn video footage from the officers present. This will be reviewed and analysed over coming days.

“What we have established is that the man was arrested for possession of Class B drugs with intent to supply and possession of ammunition. The man was handcuffed to the rear before being transported to Croydon Custody Suite in a police vehicle where he was escorted into the building. He remained handcuffed to the rear and seated in a holding area in the custody suite.

“His handcuffs remained in place while officers prepared to search him using a metal detector.

“It is at the 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.

“The MPS is conducting a separate murder investigation into the death of its officer, and we are working to ensure our investigation does not impact its enquiries.”

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