Prince William lays wreath in tribute to hero cop Sgt Matt Ratana who was shot and killed on duty

PRINCE William today paid tribute to hero cop Sergeant Matt Ratana who was tragically shot and killed while on duty.

Sgt Matt Ratana, 54, who worked for the Met for nearly 30 years, died when he was blasted in the chest at Croydon Custody Centre last September.

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Wills, 38, laid a wreath of flowers at a memorial bench made for the tragic officer.

He met The Met's Commissioner Cressida Dick and spoke privately with Matt's partner Su Bushby and took part in a moment of reflection with friends and officers.

Arriving, William said: "I've wanted to come here for a while."

Cressida Dick added: "It's going to mean a lot to people."

The duke also took part in a moment of reflection with friends and officers.

New Zealand-born Matt was blasted in the chest at Croydon Custody Centre on Friday September 25.

The popular cop and coach at East Grinstead Rugby Club had served almost 30 years with The Met when he was gunned down.

The Duke spoke privately with officers who were working with Sgt Ratana the night he died.

Wills, speaking to Matt's former colleague and pal Sgt Steve Braithwaite, later he said: "Clearly he was the heart and soul of the police station.

"He liked his his hugs as well apparently.

"He left behind a legacy and touched a lot of lives.

"Rugby was his passion I understand."

Suspect Louis De Zoysa, 23, of Norbury, South London, was arrested and in custody charged with murder.

He is partially paralysed after suffering self-inflicted gunshot wound to his neck 


It is believed handcuffed De Zoysa shot the hero cop with a revolver fired from behind his back.

It is thought De Zoysa hid the gun in his waistband when he was arrested for possessing ammunition and supplying cannabis.

Pals have set up The Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation to find local training and exchange experiences for rugby clubs in New Zealand and improve facilities in the UK.

Hero Matt worked for the police force for nearly 30 years having joined in 1991 working across the city before he was transferred to Croydon in 2015.

The Duke also met a group of staff and officers to hear more about the work being carried out across the Metropolitan Police Service to support the mental health of its workforce.

This includes Operation Hampshire, which helps those who have been injured or assaulted whilst at work.

And the Mental Health Network which works to break down the stigma of mental health, supporting and directing officers and staff to both internal and external support, including a volunteer peer-support service run by its team of 1,200 trained Blue Light Champions.

William also greeted The Met Police’s first welfare and wellbeing support dog, Dexter, who helps officers deal with stressful and traumatic incidents they come across in the line of duty.

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