The Duke of Cambridge Prince William paid his respects to the slain Croydon police officer Sgt Matt Ratana on a visit to the Metropolitan Police’s Croydon Custody Centre today (Wednesday, May 12).
Visiting the location where Matt Ratana was fatally shot while helping detain a suspect last year, the Duke was welcomed by Met Commissioner Cressida Dick and introduced to Matt’s partner and some of his closest friends and colleagues.
He also paused for reflection at a bench dedicated to the staff sergeant after his death.
“Paying tribute to @metpoliceuk Sergeant Matt Ratana, who was tragically shot and killed whilst on duty last year,” a short statement posted to the Duke and Duchess’s Twitter account read.
“Today at Croydon Custody Centre, The Duke met several of Sergeant Ratana’s colleagues to pass on his condolences and hear some of their memories of working with him.”
With today’s visit taking place during #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, The Duke heard about the work being carried out across the @metpoliceuk to support the mental health of its workforce, and also met Dexter, the MPS’s first welfare and wellbeing support dog. pic.twitter.com/eB5X49VV1z
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) May 12, 2021
One of those officers who met with The Duke was Inspector Wil Ajose-Adeogun, who was Sergeant Ratana’s line manager and close friend.
After the meeting Ajose-Adeogun said:
“Meeting The Duke today brought back many fond memories of Matt, his enormous energy, his sense of duty and his overwhelming kindness.
“He was not just our colleague, he was our dear friend. His personality was the life and sound of Croydon Custody Centre and we all miss him dearly.”
Commissioner Dick for her part said that the Met were proud to welcome the prince to the custody suite in Croydon.
The awful killing of Sergeant Matt Ratana sent shockwaves through the Met and I know we continue to mourn his loss.
“Matt left a powerful legacy across the Met and I was proud to welcome His Royal Highness to Croydon Custody Centre and to meet some of Matt’s colleagues and friends,” she said.
“Police officers put themselves in harm’s way to keep people safe every day and they can be exposed to very harrowing and traumatic experiences.
“I am extremely proud of the men and women across the Met who support colleagues who have experienced trauma, breaking down the stigma of mental health and ensuring those who need help are supported.
“I am so pleased that His Royal Highness could meet those unsung heroes of the Met, looking out for the wellbeing of our officers,” the commissioner added.
While on site, Prince William also learnt about how the Met engages with mental health issues for which he is an awareness-raising advocate.
In Croydon he met some of the staff and officers working to provide mental health support to colleagues across the Metropolitan Police Service through programmes like Operation Hampshire that support to Met officers who have been assaulted or injured during the course of their duties.