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Bishop offers condolences to shot policeman’s family

26 September 2020

THE Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, has expressed the diocese’s shock at the death of Matt Ratana, the Police Sergeant who was shot and killed by a suspect at Croydon Custody Centre in the early hours of Friday morning.

Bishop Chessun was in touch with the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and the Senior Chaplain to the Metropolitan Police Service, Prebendary Jonathan Osborne, to offer his condolences to Sgt Ratana’s family and colleagues, as well as expressing his distress at this shocking incident.

He said: “The thoughts and prayers of the whole of the diocese of Southwark are with the police officer, his family and friends and the whole Metropolitan Police Service at this time.”

A 23-year-old man is receiving treatment for gunshot wounds and is being investigated for murder. Officers reportedly conducted a “pat-down” search of the suspect in custody, during which ammunition and cannabis resin was found; they failed to discover a revolver hidden down the back of his trousers, it was reported on Sunday. An informal review has been launched.

A service to mark National Police Memorial Day was held on Sunday afternoon. The Archbishop of Canterbury, who gave the blessing, said: “It’s a privilege to be giving the blessing at today’s National Police Memorial Day service, especially as we continue to pray for the loved ones of Sergeant Matiu Ratana. May God protect all those who risk their lives to keep us safe.”

The Area Dean of Croydon North and Vicar of Holy Saviour, Croydon, the Revd Catherine Tucker, visited the site of the shooting on Friday morning and talked with the press and those laying flowers.

The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, said via Twitter that he would be honouring National Police Memorial Day on Sunday and that he was “deeply saddened” by news of the shooting.

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