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The London skyscraper where the police arrested the cop killer for ammunition – but his gun missed


The gunman who shot and killed a Metropolitan Police sergeant in a station was stopped by officers on the sidewalk outside a block of flats in south London, MailOnline has revealed.

Another cordon in Anderson Heights, Norbury, was where the 23-year-old suspect was taken to the Croydon Custody Center before shooting 54-year-old Sergeant Matiu Ratana, whose hands were allegedly cuffed behind his back.

Security footage from the early hours of Friday seen by MailOnline shows the suspect walking towards Streatham on London Road when he was stopped by a patrol car in front of the five-story apartment as unsuspecting motorists drove by.

A fast reacting vehicle arrives at 1:44 a.m., followed two minutes later by a police car. The suspect is taken to the van at 1:47 a.m.

It is unclear whether he was searched or handcuffed at the scene, but he did not appear to be acting aggressively and appeared to be cooperating with officers.

Minutes later, a third police car arrives to block London Road when the police car with the suspect leaves at 1:50 a.m.

Shortly after the van drove away, three officers are looking for a bush and a bush at the edge of the parking lot to the apartment block.

This morning officials occupied the high-rise block where a blue Peugeot and a silver Vauxhall Corsa could be seen in the cordon and a stairwell next to the apartments was taped off.

Scotland Yard is under increasing pressure to explain how the suspect appeared to have managed to hide the revolver in his pants and then handcuffed fire on the New Zealand veteran officer.

Sergeant Ratana was reportedly shot in the chest five times at close range as he prepared to use a metal detector in a Covid-Screening cell on the handcuffed suspect arrested for possession of Class B ammunition and drugs to browse.

Honors from relatives, colleagues and politicians have been received for the rugby-loving "big friendly bear" who was months before his retirement.

Sergeant Ratana was a coach at East Grinstead Rugby Football Club, leaving behind an adult son and partner with whom he lived in Goring, Sussex.

The shooter, who was arrested by a special police officer on patrol with two regular officers, is in critical condition with a gunshot wound in the neck from his own weapon.

Scotland Yard has opened an investigation into the suspect, who has been identified as a "potential terrorist threat" and referred to the prevention program, which aims to prevent vulnerable people from becoming involved in extremism.

Sergeant Matiu Ratana, 54, was reportedly shot five times at close range in the chest during the incident on Friday

Sergeant Ratana (pictured with partner Sue) was allegedly shot and killed by a 23-year-old man detained for possession of ammunition at the Croydon Detention Center in south London

Sergeant Ratana (pictured with partner Sue) was allegedly shot and killed by a 23-year-old man detained for possession of ammunition at the Croydon Detention Center in south London

This morning officials occupied the high-rise block where a blue Peugeot and a silver Vauxhall Corsa could be seen in the cordon and a stairwell next to the apartments was taped off

This morning officials occupied the high-rise block where a blue Peugeot and a silver Vauxhall Corsa could be seen in the cordon and a stairwell next to the apartments was taped off

In Anderson Heights, Norbury, there is still a police cordon in which the 23-year-old suspect was taken to the Croydon Detention Center before shooting 54-year-old Sergeant Matiu Ratana behind the back with his hands tied

Officials occupied the apartment building this morning

In Anderson Heights, Norbury, there is still a police cordon in which the 23-year-old suspect was taken to the Croydon Detention Center before shooting 54-year-old Sergeant Matiu Ratana behind the back with his hands tied

This morning flowers are being laid outside the Croydon Custody Center where Sergeant Ratana was shot

This morning flowers are being laid outside the Croydon Custody Center where Sergeant Ratana was shot

Meets the sergeant's assassination again and calls for better protection of frontline officers

A former senior Met Police officer has called for better protection for the officers following the fatal shooting of Sgt Matt Ratana.

Andy Trotter, the Met's former deputy deputy commissioner and former chief of police for the UK's traffic police, said an increase in prison sentences was not enough to prevent a crime against rescue workers.

He told Times Radio, “The challenges the police face, the violence they face, are much greater and will not be resolved by increasing a sentence by 10 years.

“It has to be much more about the number of cops … the protective gear they have, not just the police.

“Fire, ambulance, they are all under attack. We see attacks on shop workers, we see attacks on hospital staff. We are increasingly becoming a very difficult society for the police.

“We have to look down the line and just say that we are going to set up the sentences won't solve that. It has to be about prevention and detection and much more than just that. & # 39;

According to sources, the officers were unable to find the suspect's weapon as it was well hidden and could only have been recovered with an intimate strip hunt and an examination of the body cavity.

He was arrested on suspicion of possession of Class B ammunition and drugs for the purpose of supply. It is believed that cannabis resin was found on his person.

They searched the suspect after he behaved strangely before handcuffing him and driving him to the police station.

Sergeant Ratana – who has a 26-year-old son from a previous relationship – was about to search the handcuffed suspect with a metal detector in a Covid screening cell when the man was making a revolver that he stuffed into his pants.

The 23-year-old fired the gun with his hands still handcuffed behind his back and allegedly hit the veteran officer at close quarters in the heart several times.

In the chaos that followed, the attacker's gun went off again, injuring his neck, but he remains alive in a critical condition. The suspect is believed to be autistic and Sri Lankan in origin, according to The Times.

Sergeant Ratana was flown to the hospital after desperate medics performed open heart surgery on him in the detention center, The Sun reports.

Sergeant Ratana, whose job it was to look after the care and welfare of the detainees, died in hospital.

A native of Hawke & # 39; s Bay, he came to the UK in 1989 and became a guardian for Princess Diana, the Queen Mother and former Prime Minister John Major, reports The Mirror.

And in 1992, the hero officer was less than 300 meters from an IRA car bomb that exploded off 10 Downing Street.

Friend Amanda Tessier, a community nurse whose sister Sue Busby has had a relationship with the officer for four years, said: "He was a big, kind bear of a man, one of the most beautiful men you could meet."

Sergeant Ratana's father has been described by his colleagues as a "real gentleman" and "one of the best," while Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said he was known as a "big guy" with a "big heart."

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said last night that it was "incredibly sad news" that one of her country's former police officers had died.

What are the key events leading to Sergeant Ratana's death?

  • The 27-year-old man was searched by a special police officer on patrol with two ordinary officers.
  • Arrested on suspicion of possession of Class B ammunition and drugs with intent to deliver;
  • He was handcuffed and then driven to the detention center in a patrol car.
  • Sergeant Ratana wanted to search the handcuffed suspect in a Covid screening cell with a metal detector.
  • M.one – who was not named – was handcuffed behind his back when the shots were fired from a revolver stuffed in his pants;
  • The 23-year-old fired the gun between his legs, reports The Daily Telegraph;
  • The attacker's gun went off again and wounded him, but he remains alive in critical condition.
  • Sources said the officers did not find the small weapon because it was well hidden and could only have been recovered with an intimate strip search and body cavity inspection.
  • Mick Neville – a former detective chief inspector – said some "criminals have been known to attach guns to their thighs or even slide the barrel into intimate areas with only the handle left visible";
  • He believes the sergeant "may have been at greater risk due to Covid-19 trials";
  • The suspect, believed to be of Sri Lankan origin, has been classified as a "potential terrorist threat".
  • He was referred to the prevention program, which aims to prevent vulnerable people from becoming involved in extremism.
Sergeant Ratana, who coached East Grinstead Rugby Football Club

The sergeant came to the UK from New Zealand

Sergeant Ratana, East Grinstead Rugby Football Club coach, came to the UK from New Zealand

The inspiring police officer (pictured) had plunged into the coaching session and was looking forward to being able to concentrate fully on promoting future rugby stars in his retirement

The inspiring police officer (pictured) had plunged into the coaching session and was looking forward to being able to concentrate fully on promoting future rugby stars in his retirement

After moving to Worthing, West Sussex, six years ago, Matiu Ratana took on the position of head coach of the East Grinstead Rugby Club and helped the youth develop their game

After moving to Worthing, West Sussex, six years ago, Matiu Ratana took on the position of head coach of East Grinstead Rugby Club and helped the youth develop their game

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, City Police Commissioner Cressida Dick and Home Secretary Priti Patel observe a minute's silence in the atrium of Scotland Yard in London

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, City Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, and Home Secretary Priti Patel observe a minute's silence in the atrium of Scotland Yard, London

The father of Sergeant Ratana, who coached East Grinstead Rugby Football Club, has been described in honors as "a big, kind, kind bear of a man" and "one of the most beautiful men to meet."

The father of Sergeant Ratana, who coached East Grinstead Rugby Football Club, has been described in honors as "a big, kind, kind bear of a man" and "one of the most beautiful men to meet".

Questions to the chiefs of Scotland Yard after the sergeant's death

Was he searched when he was arrested – and how thoroughly?

The arresting police's procedure depends on the circumstances in which the suspect was arrested. It is believed that he was brought to the station. How thoroughly was he searched during and after the arrest?

And then, when he was at the police station, was a more thorough search authorized by the detention officer?

Custody officers can authorize a strip search that can reveal weapons hidden around a person's body and hidden from their clothes and bags.

What we know so far is that Sergeant Ratana was supposed to be searching the suspect with a metal detector when he was shot.

How did officers miss that he was carrying a gun?

Questions are asked about how a criminal suspect was able to get a gun into a police station believed to be one of the safest buildings in the country. It also increases the possibility that he came across a metal detector with the gun.

Mick Neville – a former detective chief inspector – told The Sun that criminals have been known to attach guns to her thigh or even slide the barrel into intimate areas with only the handle remaining visible. Even the most experienced officer could overlook this.

"The sergeant could have been at greater risk due to Covid-19 proceedings."

Did the suspect have the murder weapon with him the whole time?

It is believed that the suspect had the gun on him throughout his arrest. There will be questions to determine exactly when and how long he had the gun in his possession, given the rarity of illegal guns in Britain.

Some reports suggest guns are readily available in Croydon – often as little as 30 pounds.

Was the car searched to make sure nothing was hidden?

Officers are also required to search vehicles before and after use to ensure that no items have been hidden. The College of Policing guidelines state: "Employees must always consider whether to use their search powers before putting an inmate in a vehicle."

Did the police leave him unattended at any point?

The police have the power to search a person when arrested and use appropriate force to carry it out. After a suspect has been searched upon arrest, "they should not be left unattended until presented to the detention officer, who will decide whether or not a further search is required".

Did Covid's new booking rules affect the situation?

New Covid-19 controls put in place due to the escalating pandemic mean suspects often have to wait in a holding area to have their temperature checked in case they have symptoms of a coronavirus. So there are questions as to whether a full search took place before the suspect's temperature could be verified.

Do special police officers usually arrest people for a firearm crime?

Special police officers have the same powers as police officers, even though they are volunteers, and can therefore carry out any type of arrest. The special policeman who allegedly arrested the suspect would also have been with an ordinary officer.

Was the suspect watched by the anti-terror police?

The suspect was reportedly known to the counterterrorism police and had previously been on their radar. Questions are therefore asked about the scope of the suspect's searches. Under the Police Reform Act of 2002, escort officers have the authority to search people being brought to or from a police station and to confiscate evidence in transit from the place of arrest.

Ms. Tessier added: “He was totally committed as a police officer and had been on duty for almost 30 years. He knew the dangers of being a cop in London and he'd talked about it, but for him it was all part of the job. It was something he was trained and used to.

& # 39; He was such a lovely guy. He was a great kind guy. He liked to keep fit and rugby, but he also liked a burger or two. We just can't believe it. How did someone have a gun in the police station?

"I'm sure there will be a major investigation by the Met, but it doesn't seem right at all."

Ms. Tessier said her sister was devastated by the news and being comforted by friends.

She said, “They were together for about four years. In the morning there was a knock on the door. It's just devastating. We can't believe it. He was life and soul, a really fun-loving guy who was fully committed to his work. & # 39;

She said he was a passionate rugby fan who coached players. & # 39; You will be devastated by this. He coached the juniors too, ”she said, and burst into tears. "It's just awful."

The shooter was stopped shortly before the shooting after acting suspiciously in Croydon town center, leading to his being searched by a special police officer and two police officers in the early hours of the morning. He was arrested for possessing cannabis and ammunition after several bullets were found in a search.

Sources said the officers did not find the small weapon because it was well hidden and could only have been recovered with an intimate strip search and body cavity inspection.

Police protocol states that this cannot be done by the roadside and requires approval from a sergeant in a detention center.

The detained man was in a covid screening cell, which is part of the custody process during the pandemic, when he launched the attack. Two officers pounced on the suspect to stop him.

It came when Sergeant Ratana opened the cell door to search him with a metal detector.

The 23-year-old fired the gun between his legs – hands still cuffed behind his back – and struck the veteran officer in the heart several times at close range, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Officers and paramedics rushed to the officer’s aid after he collapsed in a pool of blood. He died later in hospital.

The force has launched an investigation into why the weapon was not found in the search.

Mick Neville – a former detective chief inspector – told The Sun that criminals have been known to attach guns to her thigh or even slide the barrel into intimate areas with only the handle remaining visible. Even the most experienced officer could overlook this.

"The sergeant could have been at greater risk due to Covid-19 proceedings."

A friend wrote on Facebook: & # 39; Ratatatatat. Matt, a legend. You gave me an opportunity and a direction that helped me get to where I am now. I will be forever grateful and will take you with me throughout my career. RIP my friend. & # 39;

A former colleague said: “There are people who could be cut in half and who would bleed blue. Matt was one of them.

Sergeant Ratana is the grandson of Iriaka Ratana, the first Maori MP, and cousin of New Zealand Labor MP Adrian Rurawhe, who told the NZ Herald, “Everyone is really devastated to hear the news they have passed on.

"He was really proud to be a police officer, and he was also very proud to be a Maori from New Zealand."

A 1996 magazine printed quotes from the sergeant in which he said, “I have this photo of myself as a child wearing a police helmet.

“One of my uncles sent it over. I don't remember growing up wanting to be a cop. But now that I am I wouldn't change it for anything. & # 39;

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he visited the family to offer condolences. Other accolades on social media said "What a waste", "You will be missed my friend", "So sad what a lovable man" and "Sleep well Maui".

Community leader Donna Murray-Turner described the officer who was shot this morning as "warm, intelligent and funny."

She told MailOnline: “He was a good person. He helped me set up stop-and-search workshops.

“I'll work with anyone who wants to make a difference, and they were one of those people.

"I just want his family to know that he is loved by them and that he is loved by members of the community."

A friend who lives on the same street as the sergeant said, “Matt was a lovely, lovely man. We are in shock.

& # 39; He was spoken softly and very nice. A wonderful neighbor. And he was so into his rugby.

“We found out what happened this morning. Very shocking news. & # 39;

Glenn and Debbie Stobart lived with Sergeant Ratana in Coulsdon, south London, for several years before moving to Worthing.

Ms. Stobart, a close friend, said: “He was a fantastic man. He always helped others. If you were concerned about anything, he would answer your concern.

& # 39; He was so caring, funny, everyone knew him. He was a really great character.

He moved into the area the first day, knocked on the door and introduced himself, and everyone got to know him from then on. He loved his job and was a cop. He was so proud to serve the church.

“He was looking forward to retirement next year, but wasn't sure what to do with all that free time and got into rugby even more. He loved helping the children and it gave him a real purpose. & # 39;

Holding back tears as she talked about his killer, she added, “You should throw away the key.

What is the police log for finding suspects?

When the police arrest a suspect, they must follow a search protocol.

The College of Policing sets a number of procedures that officers should follow when conducting a search. This is "important" as it reduces the risk of harm to staff, protects a suspect's safety and ensures that potential evidence can be seized.

Section 54 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) allows officers to search someone arrested on arrival at a police station.

After a suspect arrives at the police station and for the duration of his time there, these rules apply to police officers and certain detention officers.

Employees are trained in search and refresher courses.

This may include a strip search, although officers will not be asked to do it automatically unless deemed necessary.

According to the codes of conduct, the detainee must explain to an inmate the reasons for the search and its conduct, and ensure that it is done with "respect and dignity".

Separate powers also allow searches at any other time if a detention officer believes an inmate is in possession of an item that could harm himself or others, damage property, tamper with evidence, or escape.

This law also gives officers the power to search a person when arrested and use appropriate force to carry it out.

After a suspect has been searched upon arrest, "they should not be left unattended until presented to the detention officer, who will decide whether or not a further search is required".

Meanwhile, under the Police Reform Act 2002, escorts have the authority to search people being brought to or from a police station and to confiscate evidence in transit from the place of arrest.

Officers are also required to search vehicles before and after use to ensure that no items have been hidden.

The College of Policing guidelines state: “Employees must always consider whether to use their search powers before putting an inmate in a vehicle.

“In major public order situations, it may be safer to remove the detainee from the incident and then conduct the search.

“How could someone get to a police station with a gun? It asks for faith. & # 39;

Sergeant Ratana is the tenth police officer killed on duty in the past decade. The last one was Andrew Harper in Berkshire in August 2019.

PC Harper's widow Lissie Harper said it was "extremely devastating," adding, "What is happening to our world?"

Friday's incident marks the first time in eight years that a British police officer was shot dead on duty after Dale Cregan killed Greater Manchester police officers Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone in September 2012.

Scotland Yard has not yet confirmed whether he was on the anti-terrorist police radar following the claims made by BBC News.

However, it is believed that he was referred to the prevention program. The program is a government-run, multi-agency program involving the Home Office, counter-terrorism police and other agencies to prevent vulnerable people from becoming involved in extremism.

He was identified through possible links to right-wing extremism and Islamic extremism, but nothing was found to warrant a counter-terrorism investigation.

Shocked and tearful colleagues laid flowers all day long, and eleven police officers marched to the detention center once to leave flower tributes with a poem.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “My deepest condolences go to the family, friends and colleagues of the police officer who was killed in Croydon last night. We owe a great debt to those who risk their own lives to protect us. & # 39;

Scotland Yard said no police rifles had been fired and they informed the officer's relatives and assisted them with special officers.

A number of police colleagues changed their social media profile pictures to black with a blue line as a sign of respect for the officer who had been with the police for nearly 30 years

His former girlfriend, Claudia Lynn, who lived with the officer for six years, said he was from New Zealand and started a career in the police force. She said they split four years ago after meeting in 2010. She is a former special police officer.

She said, “We moved here from London together, where we lived then. I was no longer in contact with him, but I had seen him occasionally. & # 39;

Police Officer Stuart James tweeted, “This morning my team and I responded to the worst radio broadcast of custody, words and scenes that I will never forget.

“The unimaginable happened to our police family. We not only lost a good skipper, but also a real gentleman. One of the best. RIP brother. & # 39;

Community police officer Jacqueline Kufuor burst into tears after planting flowers outside the center in honor of her colleague. She said the late officer was "a lovely guy" and "the nicest man I have ever met".

She said, “You never expect this to happen when you go to work. It's just so sad that he was in custody and that this happened. & # 39;

She said, & # 39; He was a very handsome man. He was such a nice man. When he sees you, he'll just get up and talk to you. Er würde dich nach deinem Job fragen und wie es dir geht und wie es dir da draußen geht. Wenn ich also jemals Probleme hatte, sprach ich einfach mit ihm. & # 39;

Neil John-Baptiste, 44, ein Bergungsfahrer von Thornton Heath im Süden Londons, fuhr ins Zentrum, um Blumen zu legen. Er sagte: „Ich denke nur, dass ein Polizist im Laufe seiner Pflicht sein Leben verloren hat.

„Ich finde es wirklich entmutigend, was heute hier passiert ist. Dies sind nur Blumen, aber es ist ein Zeichen des Respekts. Die Dinge müssen sich ändern. & # 39;

Nach dem Vorfall am Freitag ist heute Morgen ein Forensiker im Croydon-Haftzentrum in Südlondon abgebildet

Nach dem Vorfall am Freitag ist heute Morgen ein Forensiker im Croydon-Haftzentrum in Südlondon abgebildet

Sadiq Khan, Kommissar Dick und Frau Patel senkten feierlich den Kopf, als sie sich schweigend an den verstorbenen Offizier erinnerten

Sadiq Khan, Kommissar Dick und Frau Patel senkten feierlich die Köpfe, als sie sich schweigend an den verstorbenen Offizier erinnerten

Der Mann wurde im Croydon-Haftzentrum in Südlondon (Bild am Freitag) festgenommen, als sich der Vorfall ereignete

Der Mann wurde im Croydon-Haftzentrum in Südlondon (Bild am Freitag) festgenommen, als sich der Vorfall ereignete

Forensiker der Polizei im Croydon-Haftzentrum

Croydon Sorgerechtszentrum in Südlondon am Freitag

Forensiker der Polizei im Croydon-Haftzentrum in Südlondon heute Morgen nach dem Tod von Sergeant Ratana

Ein Mann brach in Tränen aus, als er heute Nachmittag Blumen auf den Bürgersteig vor dem Haftzentrum legte. Ein uniformierter Offizier sah zu

Ein Mann brach in Tränen aus, als er heute Nachmittag Blumen auf den Bürgersteig vor dem Haftzentrum legte. Ein uniformierter Offizier sah zu

Nach dem Tod eines Polizisten am Freitag neigen Polizisten vor dem Croydon-Haftzentrum in Südlondon den Kopf

Nach dem Tod eines Polizisten am Freitag neigen Polizisten vor dem Croydon-Haftzentrum in Südlondon den Kopf

Die Polizei brachte am Freitag Blumen in das Sorgerechtszentrum von Croydon, wo ein Polizist von einem Mann erschossen wurde, der in Gewahrsam gehalten wurde

Die Polizei brachte am Freitag Blumen in das Sorgerechtszentrum von Croydon, wo ein Polizist von einem Mann erschossen wurde, der in Gewahrsam gehalten wurde

Eine Frau bringt heute Nachmittag nach der Schießerei am Freitag Blumen in das Croydon-Haftzentrum in Südlondon

Eine Frau bringt heute Nachmittag nach der Schießerei am Freitag Blumen in das Croydon-Haftzentrum in Südlondon

Vor dem Croydon Custody Center neigten Polizisten heute Nachmittag die Köpfe, um sich an ihren Kollegen zu erinnern, und legten Blumenhommagen

Vor dem Croydon Custody Center neigten Polizisten heute Nachmittag die Köpfe, um sich an ihren Kollegen zu erinnern, und legten Blumenhommagen

Ungeformte Beamte legten Blumensträuße vor das Croydon-Haftzentrum, wo am Freitag ein Polizist getötet wurde

Ungeformte Beamte legten Blumensträuße vor das Croydon-Haftzentrum, wo am Freitag ein Polizist getötet wurde

Ein Tribut wurde vor dem Haftzentrum zurückgelassen, wo der Beamte erschossen wurde. Auf der Karte stand, dass er der "größte Sergeant" war.

A tribute was left outside the custody centre where the officer was shot dead. The card said he was the 'greatest sergeant'

Dame Cressida said Sgt Ratana was known as a 'big guy' with a 'big heart'.

She said: 'A lovely man, respected by his colleagues, officers, staff and of course by members of the public, including, I may say, suspects arrested or dealt with in custody.

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

Dame Cressida said he leaves behind a partner and an adult son from a previous relationship.

She said he joined the Met in 1991, adding: 'He was a talented police officer, captain of his recruits training class.'

What is 'Prevent' and how do authorities use it to combat terrorism offences?

Prevent is a government-led multi-agency scheme, involving the Home Office, counter-terrorism police and other authorities.

As part of the scheme, police work with local authority partners and community organisations to help find solutions and work to support and protect vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism.

If a person is assessed as being a terrorism risk, they may be referred to the Home Office's Channel programme.

The Channel programme is  part of the Prevent strategy, and focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.

At this point, they maybe given help from a mentor.

Following assessment, many referrals to Prevent do not result in any further police action, say counter-terrorism police.

In some cases other organisations such as health, housing or education step in to provide support instead.

The three key points of the Prevent Strategy are to:

– Responds to the ideological challenge we face from terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat we face from those who promote these views

– Provide practical help to prevent individuals from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support

-Work with a wide range of institutions (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, online and health) where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to deal with.

He first worked in Charring Cross before working in Hillingdon and Hackney.

She urged the public not to speculate about his death, saying: 'I do understand that there is great concern about how this happened, how this could have happened.

'I want to reassure everyone the facts will be established, we owe that to Matt. We owe that to his family and of course we owe that to other police officers.

'But we do need to give the investigators the space to do their job and I must say that speculation at this time is unhelpful and may even harm our efforts.'

Dame Cressida's New Zealand counterpart Andrew Coster wrote on Twitter: 'New Zealand Police today acknowledges the death of serving Met Police officer, and former New Zealand Police officer, Sergeant Matiu Ratana, known as Matt.

'Sergeant Ratana was already an experienced officer in the UK when he joined New Zealand Police as part of the first British High Commission Wing, Wing 212, in 2003. He served in Auckland City and Counties Manukau until 2008, before returning to the UK.

'As my counterpart Commissioner Cressida Dick of the Metropolitan Police has expressed this morning, policing is a family. While Sergeant Ratana spent most of his career in the UK, anyone who serves here will always be a part of our New Zealand Police whānau.

'We send our condolences to his friends and family here and abroad, and his colleagues in the Metropolitan Police and across the UK who will be deeply feeling this loss today.'

New Zealand's PM Ms Ardern said: 'Incredibly sad to hear news this morning that a Metropolitan Police officer killed in the UK was Matiu Ratana, a former New Zealand Police officer.

'Sergeant Ratana worked in Auckland City and Counties Manukau until 2008, before returning to the UK. To all Matiu's whanau across the world, we share your sorrow and have all our condolences.'

John Davies, a former colleague of Sgt Ratana, said he was a 'truly remarkable, strong and unique individual'.

Mr Davies, 58, worked with Sgt Ratana for the Metropolitan Police from 2002 to 2004.

He said: 'Matt and myself were both police officers on Hillingdon Borough, west London, and worked closely together for those years.

'I'd just like to say that he was a truly remarkable, strong and unique individual. He would have left an impression on all those he came into contact with.

'He was a great guy and will be sorely missed.'

He described Sgt Ratana as a 'proud Maori'.

Community police officer Jacqueline Kufuor said: 'Sgt Ratana was a lovely guy' and 'the nicest man I have ever met'.

She said: 'He was a very lovely man. He was such a nice man. When he sees you, he would just stand and talk to you.

'He would ask you about your job and how you're coping and how you are doing out there. So when I ever had issues, I would just talk to him.'

A grieving friend said Sergeant Ratana left rugby training just hours before he was murdered.

He described the victim as a 'leader amongst men.'

Paul, 27, who did not provide his last name, said the officer played as a prop for East Grinstead Rugby Club in Sussex and had been head coach for the last four years.

Speaking outside the detention centre on Friday, wearing a training top of the West Sussex team, he said his teammate was a 'giant of a man' who turned the side into a winning machine.

Paul, who work in recruitment, said: 'He was coaching the colts, then was head coach when it became available.

'He was a leader amongst men, the team started winning nearly every game, it was definitely because of him, his never say die attitude to keep battling, that was just who he was and he instilled that in the team.

'He played as a prop, he was a giant of a man.'

Speaking about his teammate, he became emotional before adding: 'We're all just devastated, it's all quite overwhelming, it's hard to believe what's happened.

'He was close to retiring from the force.

'It's sad that the force are put in that position, they are just men and women doing their jobs. It's unfortunate because they're on the front line, it's bad, but no one deserves that.

'I saw him last night, we trained with the team and he left training to come to his night shift.'

After moving to Worthing in West Sussex six years ago, Sergeant Ratana took over as head coach of the club, helping youngsters develop their game.

He had been an outstanding player himself, even turning out for now professional side London Irish among a host of other London clubs. He had learnt the game at Palmerston North Boys' High School, which has produced a number of All Blacks.

England Rugby's Twitter account read: 'Our thoughts and those of the entire rugby family are with the family and friends of Sergeant Matt Ratana.  Head coach at East Grinstead Rugby who gave so much to our sport.'

Three years after arriving in Britain he married Teresa Conway in Slough and the couple had a son, Luke, the following year.

They later separated and his ex-wife and son are thought to have emigrated to Australia. Friends said Sergeant Ratana had remained very close to Luke.

Sergeant Ratana sent a WhatsApp message to his players at East Grinstead rugby team at 1.34am this morning which read 'good session tonight team', reports suggest. He was shot less than an hour later.

A friend told the BBC: 'A few years ago I was experiencing financial problems. He came in one day and gave me 200 quid out of the blue, I said 'no no, I can't accept that'- and gave it back to him. But the next day he wired it into my account. That's the sort of guy he was.'

Scotland Yard said it had referred the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) which will lead an independent investigation.

Speaking at the Home Office, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: 'I'm deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic killing of the officer in Croydon overnight.

Police bring flowers to Croydon custody centre in South London on Friday after a police officer was shot by a man

Police bring flowers to Croydon custody centre in South London on Friday after a police officer was shot by a man

A police officer lays flowers outside Croydon custody centre in South London this afternoon following the incident earlier on Friday

A police officer lays flowers outside Croydon custody centre in South London this afternoon following the incident earlier on Friday

Police officers outside Croydon custody centre in South London this afternoon as they mourn their colleague's death

Police officers outside Croydon custody centre in South London this afternoon as they mourn their colleague's death

A man carries a bag of evidence next to Croydon custody centre in South London this afternoon

A man carries a bag of evidence next to Croydon custody centre in South London this afternoon

Floral tributes outside Croydon custody centre in South London on Friday following the death of a police officer

Floral tributes outside Croydon custody centre in South London on Friday following the death of a police officer

Police officers stand outside Croydon custody centre in South London this afternoon following the shooting

Police officers stand outside Croydon custody centre in South London this afternoon following the shooting

Police lined up while socially distanced outside the Windmill Road Custody Suite in Croydon on Friday following the incident this morning

Police lined up while socially distanced outside the Windmill Road Custody Suite in Croydon on Friday following the incident this morning

Police officers held a minute-long silence in memory of the officer following the shooting on Friday at a custody suite in Croydon

Police officers held a minute-long silence in memory of the officer following the shooting on Friday at a custody suite in Croydon

Police officers and community leaders hold a minute's silence outside Windmill Road Custody Suite to mark the death of their colleague

Police officers and community leaders hold a minute's silence outside Windmill Road Custody Suite to mark the death of their colleague

Police at the scene of the shooting at the Croydon custody suite in South London this morning

Police at the scene of the shooting at the Croydon custody suite in South London this morning

Police forensics at Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

Police forensics at Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

Investigations are being carried out at Croydon custody centre on Friday following the shooting

Investigations are being carried out at Croydon custody centre on Friday following the shooting

A forensics officer works at Croydon custody centre this morning after the incident overnight

A forensics officer works at Croydon custody centre this morning after the incident overnight

People carry flowers to Croydon custody centre in South London on Friday after a police officer was shot by a man

People carry flowers to Croydon custody centre in South London on Friday after a police officer was shot by a man

Officers lay floral tributes outside Croydon custody centre on Friday following the death of a police officer

Officers lay floral tributes outside Croydon custody centre on Friday following the death of a police officer

Police officers leave flowers outside Croydon custody centre in south London on Friday following the shooting

Police officers leave flowers outside Croydon custody centre in south London on Friday following the shooting

Attacks on police hit record high with more than 84 assaults in England and Wales EVERY DAY

The killing of a Metropolitan Police officer by a gunman has put the record number of attacks on officers back under the spotlight.

Sergeant Matiu 'Matt' Ratana, 54, was allegedly shot five times in the chest by a 23-year-old man detained at Croydon custody centre in South London in the early hours of Friday.

A recent landmark report from the National Police Chiefs Council found that 88 per cent of officers have been assaulted at least once in their career.

Figures from last year also showed there were 30,679 assaults in England and Wales – equivilant to 84 each day.

The year prior, in 2018/19, 71,308 sick days were taken during 2018/19 as a result of assaults.

A survey of 40,000 officers found 34 per cent of officers said their personal safety training was inadequate, prompting the launch of a national curriculum to ensure standards across all 43 forces.

Lissie Harper, the widow of Pc Andrew Harper, the last officer to be killed in the line of duty, is campaigning for tougher laws to hand life sentences to those convicted of killing emergency workers.

Reacting to Sergeant Ratana's death, she said yesterday: 'This is devastating news. No person should go to work never to return.

'No human being should be stripped of their life in a barbaric act of crime. Another hero has been taken from us in unwarranted violence.'

'All our thoughts are with the officer's family, friends and colleagues across the Metropolitan Police force, but also policing family across the country.

'This is a sad day for our country as once again we see the tragic killing of a police officer in the line of duty as they're trying to protect us and keep us safe.

'Later on today I'll be meeting with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to discuss the investigation that is currently taking place, and of course the Metropolitan Police Service now need the time and the space to get on with the inquiry that now needs to follow.'

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem yesterday said: 'Today a Metropolitan Police (MPS) officer has tragically died in the line of duty and we extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues and all of those affected by this shocking incident. The MPS is conducting a murder investigation into the officer's death.

'A 23 year old man remains in a critical condition in hospital. When a member of the public dies or is seriously injured while in police custody the Independent Office for Police Conduct's (IOPC) role is to independently investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

'We began our investigation in the early hours of Friday 25 September and our investigators have been at Croydon Custody Centre in Windmill Road, south London, gathering evidence. Our investigators are also in the area where the man was detained gathering relevant CCTV evidence.

'We will be looking at all of the police contact with the man from the time he was detained leading up to today's 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.'

Leroy Logan, a former Metropolitan Police superintendent, said there were a number of questions to be answered around the circumstances which led to the shooting of an officer at a police station.

He told BBC News: 'The first thing you want to know is how did this happen?

'How did that person come to be in the station whether it's in the yard or the building itself and be able to produce a weapon, whether it's on them at the time.

'It depends on the calibre of the weapon, because obviously if it's a small weapon and it can be easily in that person's clothing, then obviously it brings another question on how thoroughly that person was searched, if at all.

'Those are the things the department for professional standards will look at and the Independent Office for Police Conduct as well as the investigating officers who will have to look at this thing thoroughly.

'Because there's a lot of learning and obviously there's a lot of pain for the family and friends and colleagues of that officer who has fallen in the line of duty.'

A woman arrives to lay flowers outside Croydon custody centre in South London this afternoon

A woman arrives to lay flowers outside Croydon custody centre in South London this afternoon

A woman lays flowers outside Croydon custody centre in South London this afternoon

A woman lays flowers outside Croydon custody centre in South London this afternoon

A police officer lays flowers outside Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

A police officer lays flowers outside Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

A police officer stands by the scene of the shooting at the Croydon custody suite in South London this morning

A police officer in Croydon

A police officer stands by the scene of the shooting at the Croydon custody suite in South London this morning

A police officer lays flowers outside Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

A police officer lays flowers outside Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

Forensic officers at Croydon custody centre in South London on Friday following the shooting

Forensic officers at Croydon custody centre in South London on Friday following the shooting

Police tape cordon inside Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

Police tape cordon inside Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

Speaking to BBC News, former Metropolitan Police superintendent Mr Logan said the procedure followed will depend on the circumstances in which police came into contact with a suspect.

He said: 'It depends if that person was arrested outside the police station and has been transported in a vehicle. Invariably these officers will search that individual to make sure they haven't got anything that can harm other people or themselves.

'Or try and hide any material whether it's drugs or any sort of articles that they shouldn't have.

'That's standard procedure and of course that's for security reasons just in case they have got a weapon.

'There are circumstances where someone might turn up at the custody suite area itself in the reception and are led straight through.

'So not knowing all of the details, how this person got into the secure area of the station, whether it's outside the building or in the yard or whatever, we just need to try and find out what's happened because the details are very, very scant.'

Police officers are seen at Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

Police officers are seen at Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

Police are investigating the incident after a custody sergeant was shot in the early hours

Police are investigating the incident after a custody sergeant was shot in the early hours

Police officers stood at the scene at Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

Police officers stood at the scene at Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

Former Metropolitan Police Officer Dal Babu told LBC Radio, “A full body search would be expected to take place at the time of arrest.

How the Custody Sergeant is the tenth police officer killed on duty in the past decade

The sergeant is the tenth police officer killed on duty in the past decade. The other nine are as follows:

  • Andrew Harper, 28, Thames Valley Police – Killed on August 15, 2019 after being pulled by a vehicle while investigating a burglary report
  • Gareth Browning, 36, Thames Valley Police – Died April 1, 2017 after being hit by a suspicious vehicle while using a stinger in 2013
  • Keith Palmer, 48, Metropolitan Police – Stabbed to death on March 22, 2017 in the attack on Westminster Bridge
  • David Phillips, 34, Merseyside Police – Run over by police officers on October 5, 2015 during a chase
  • Andrew Duncan, 47, Metropolitan Police – Run over by a suspect on September 22, 2013
  • Adele Cashman, 30, Metropolitan Police – Collapsed on November 5, 2012 while chasing down robbery suspects
  • Fiona bones, 32 and Nicola Hughes 23, Greater Manchester Police – Shot dead on September 18, 2012
  • Ian Dibell, 41, Essex Police – Shot dead on July 9, 2012 while confronting an armed man

“Once they're at the police station, you can do a more thorough search. The detective can authorize a strip search and then you may find other weapons on people.

For security reasons, it is recommended that officers conduct the search at the time of arrest.

"The officers have to travel significant distances to get prisoners into detention suites."

Steve Reed, Labor MP for Croydon North, said his thoughts were with the officer's family and colleagues.

He tweeted: "We all in Croydon are in shock at this heartbreaking tragic news."

Mr Reed, 46, left a floral tribute at the scene with party chair Mohammed Islam, 46.

Mr Islam was 'deeply touched' by the incident as his son Shakz, 23, is waiting for his start date to become a police officer covering Westminster, Fulham and Chelsea.

He said: 'This is why I am really really touched by what has happened. It's very shocking and devastating news as I never thought something to this extent could happen in this day and age.

'I really feel for the family. The bravery the emergency services show in protecting us is incredible. I know that my son will also show this courage and not be deterred by this awful event.'

His son Shakz Islam, 23, said: 'When I heard an officer had been shot dead, I was absolutely shocked. My brother kept calling me to tell me someone had been killed a custody officer.

'It's absolutely appalling but does not put me off wanting to become an officer. If anything it makes me want to protect the public more and shows the career is worthwhile.'

Brother Zak Islam, 20, added: 'It's just such a surprise that it's happened here. A custody station like this is supposed to keep people safe.

'I just don't get how the gun wasn't found during a search before he was taken into the building. It may have prevented it from happening. I've grown up here my whole life and like living here.

'It is a bit rough but crime seems to have seriously dropped since the police station was built around five years ago.'

Recovery driver Neil Garcia, 44, heard a helicopter circling overhead after he returned from work shortly after 1am. He added to the bunches of flowers left outside the custody centre.

What are special constables and can they arrest people?

Special constables are volunteer police officers who work with and support their local force.

They spend an average of four hours a week supporting detectives and after completing training have the same powers as regular officers, unlike PCSOs or police support volunteers.

This therefore means a special constable is entitled to arrest someone in exactly the same way as a normal officer.

Their main role is carry out local intelligence-based patrols and to take part in crime prevention initiatives in problem areas.

Among their duties they conduct foot patrols; assist at the scene of accidents; carry out house-to-house enquiries; provide security at major events and tackle anti-social behaviour.

They are not paid but do receive expenses, and are recruited locally by all 43 Home Office police forces in England and Wales.

Mr Garcia said: 'It's not a surprise to hear a helicopter round here late at night but I saw the devastating news this morning. I thought it was only right to lay flowers today because a human being has lost their life at the end of the day.

'There might be a lot of tension between young people and the police around here but it's the same with many communities.

'While I don't know this officer, I know a lot of good people in the police who helped me turn my life around when I was younger so this has touched my heart.

'These people are just doing their job out of love for the communities they serve and there's no way something like this should happen to them.'

Meanwhile Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: 'Horrific to hear of a police officer being shot and killed in Croydon.

“Our police put themselves in danger every day to protect us. All of my thoughts go with the officer's family, friends, and colleagues. & # 39;

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: “Devastated by this news. My heart goes out to the family of this brave officer who paid the highest price for keeping Londoners safe.

'Tragic incidents like this are terrible reminders of the dangers our police officers face every single day.'

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland tweeted he was 'shocked and saddened' by the news.

He said: 'My thoughts are with the officer's loved ones, colleagues and the wider police community.'

A spokesman for the London Ambulance Service said: “We received a call at 2:16 this morning to report an incident on Windmill Lane in Croydon.

“We sent two rescue workers, an operations manager, an advanced paramedic and two paramedics into cars. We have also deployed a London Air Ambulance trauma team.

& # 39; The first of our medics was on site in less than four minutes. We treated two people on site and took them both on the street to a large trauma center. & # 39;

A police officer is pictured at the scene this morning following the shooting overnight

A police officer is pictured at the scene this morning following the shooting overnight

A police van is pictured outside Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

A police van is pictured outside Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

Crime scene investigators are working at the custody centre in South London this morning

Crime scene investigators are working at the custody centre in South London this morning

Officers and paramedics treated the unnamed officer at the custody centre (pictured on Friday)

Officers and paramedics treated the unnamed officer at the custody centre (pictured on Friday)

Two officers walk through the scene at Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

Two officers walk through the scene at Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

An aerial view of Croydon custody centre in South London this morning following the shooting

An aerial view of Croydon custody centre in South London this morning following the shooting

Forensic specialists are seen at the custody centre after the officer was shot dead this morning

Forensic specialists are seen at the custody centre after the officer was shot dead this morning

Police officers at the scene as a forensics specialist walks past in South London this morning

Police officers at the scene as a forensics specialist walks past in South London this morning

Flowers are laid down outside the custody centre this afternoon following the shooting

Flowers are laid down outside the custody centre this afternoon following the shooting

Maria Tripi, who lives opposite the police station, said she was woken by the noise of ambulances. The 66-year-old said: 'I was woken up at around 2.20am.

'I saw the blue lights in my room so I looked out and saw three ambulances, one was inside and two were outside.

'Then there was a lot more police vehicles and they were all rushing very quickly along the road. Then later I saw the forensic officers wearing all white.

'Then when I saw the news in the morning I couldn't believe it. It's a police station, I never thought that could happen there.

'I was so surprised because when I heard I was worried it could be terrorism or something like that because it's so terrible.

'It's very scary because there was so many police. I was scared for the police inside. I live near a police station, normally I feel safe here.

'I think the police need more support from the Government for more help and equipment because crime is so terrible in Croydon, its very bad.'

Policing minister Kit Malthouse updated MPs about the officer's death, adding: 'May justice follow this heinous crime.'

Raising a point of order in the House of Commons, Mr Malthouse said: 'We ask our police officers to do an extraordinary job.

'The fact that one of them has fallen in the line of performing that duty is a tragedy for the entire nation.

'I know the entire House will offer their condolences to his family and friends and colleagues. May he rest in peace and may justice follow this heinous crime.'

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle added: 'It is shocking news. This should never happen to the people that protect us and make us safe.

'All our thoughts and prayers go with the family and friends and the police community.'

Croydon Central MP and shadow policing minister Sarah Jones told Times Radio: 'It's absolutely devastating.

'I just feel so sorry for the family of the officer who has been shot dead and so sorry for the community of our police in Croydon who are obviously a family of people who work together every day, who put themselves out in danger every day, drive into danger and are a really close family and they are going to be absolutely devastated and I'm just so sorry.

'Of course there are going to be questions asked about what happened… and we'll get to the bottom of what happened and why.

'But today, it's an absolute tragedy and not something you ever think is going to happen.'

Reverend Catherine Tucker, of Holy Saviour Church whose parish covers the custody centre, said: 'I am sad for both the death of the police officer but also the perpetrator.

A police car is pictured outside Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

A police car is pictured outside Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

A police van is pictured outside Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

A police van is pictured outside Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

Forensics officers at the scene at Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

Forensics officers at the scene at Croydon custody centre in South London this morning

Officers leave heartfelt poem pinned to bouquet

Just before 2pm a dozen uniformed police officers walked silently to the custody centre, laid two large bouquets and bowed their heads as they stood side-by-side in tribute to their colleague.

They left a minute later without saying a word.

A poem pinned to one of the bouquets read:

Time to come home dear brother

Your tour of duty through

You have given as much as anyone could be expected to do

Just a few steps further the smoke will start to clear

Others here will guide you

You have no need of fear

You have not failed your brothers

You clearly gave it all

And through your selfless actions

Others will hear the call

Secure your place of honour

Among those who have gone before

And know you will be remembered

For now and evermore

'We are conscious of tensions between young people and police in this area over the past few years and we are actually running a project to try and improve those relationships.

'Unfortunately I am not really surprised that something like this has happened in Croydon.

'This is a highly and richly diverse area with very strong community links but it's one of the most highly deprived areas in terms of poverty rate in the whole country.'

Admin assistant Wilhelmina Jew, 45, who lives nearby, said: 'I only saw all the activity outside the police station so when I saw it on the news, I realised that must be it.

'It is completely unacceptable for anyone to kill a police officer because they are they are the last line of support for the community.

'Sometimes I really wish we lived in a country village because sadly this sort of thing happens all too often.'

The shadow justice secretary, Labour's David Lammy, tweeted: 'Appalling news that a police officer has been shot dead in Croydon.

'It is tragic when an officer loses their life in the line of duty while doing their job keeping the public safe. My thoughts and condolences are with the officer's family, colleagues and friends.'

Yvette Cooper, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, said: 'It is truly awful news that a brave police officer has been killed.

'My thoughts and deep sympathies go out to the family, friends and colleagues of this brave officer – and also to everyone in policing who will be feeling this loss deeply.

'Every day our police put themselves in harm's way to keep us all safe – it is devastating for this to happen to someone working to protect others'.

National Police Chiefs' Council chairman Martin Hewitt said: 'This is a truly terrible incident and my thoughts and condolences go out to the officer, his family, friends and colleagues at what is a deeply distressing time.

'It is another tragic reminder of the risks police officers take on a daily basis to keep the public safe.

A poem pinned to one of the bouquets left at the scene by police officers following the incident in South London

A poem pinned to one of the bouquets left at the scene by police officers following the incident in South London

The sergeant was shot at 2.15am this morning at Croydon custody centre (pictured on Friday)

The sergeant was shot at 2.15am this morning at Croydon custody centre (pictured on Friday)

Flowers left outside Croydon custody centre in South London on Friday following the shooting

Flowers left outside Croydon custody centre in South London on Friday following the shooting

A police van outside Croydon custody centre this morning after an officer was shot dead

A police van outside Croydon custody centre this morning after an officer was shot dead

Home Secretary Priti Patel released the above statement after the sergeant's death

Home Secretary Priti Patel released the above statement after the sergeant's death

It is believed to be the first time since September 2012 that a police officer was shot on duty when Dale Cregan killed PCs Fiona Bone (left) and Nicola Hughes (right).

It is believed to be the first time since September 2012 that a police officer was shot on duty when Dale Cregan killed PCs Fiona Bone (left) and Nicola Hughes (right).

'My heart is broken', says PC Andrew Harper's widow Lissie

Lissie and Andrew Harper

Lissie Harper, the widow of Pc Andrew Harper who was killed on duty last year, said in a statement: 'This is devastating news. No person should go to work never to return. No human being should be stripped of their life in a barbaric act of crime.

'Another hero has been taken from us in unwarranted violence.

'They protect us but who protects them? Another life is gone in a disgraceful act that reminds us of the danger our police officers face with every shift they begin.

'My heart is broken for yet another member of our blue line family, and all of his family, friends and colleagues who must now accept a life without him in it.

'My thoughts and love are resolutely with them.'

'Policing is a family and I join my colleagues across the country in mourning the senseless death of one of our own in the line of duty.'

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said: 'The murder of a colleague on duty is utterly devastating news.

'Officers across London are in shock and sick to their stomachs at the nature of his death.

'All our thoughts – and that of all our members – are with his family, friends and close colleagues at this time. We and all members of the police family across the country are all utterly heartbroken at this news.'

He added: 'Officers put themselves in danger every day to protect the public.

'Sadly, on very rare occasions officers make the ultimate sacrifice whilst fulfilling their role.

'When that happens we will ensure their bravery and sacrifice is never forgotten.

'Colleagues involved in the incident will have our full support for as long as is needed.'

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: 'Our deepest sympathies go out to all those affected by this terrible event.

'We were notified by the MPS of the shooting incident at Croydon Custody Centre early this morning.

'We understand a police officer has since sadly died and a man is in a critical condition in hospital.

'A murder investigation by the force is under way.

'Our investigators are at the scene and police post incident procedure to begin our independent enquiries.'

Croydon Police had tweeted last night that they had an 'uplift in officers helping you keep safe tonight regarding Covid compliance rules'.

How more than 1,600 police officers have made the ultimate sacrifice while on duty in Britain

The police officer who has died after being shot in Croydon joins a long list of colleagues killed in the line of duty.

A National Police Memorial roll of honour in London lists all the officers who have been killed by criminal acts in the line of duty since 1680.

The roll records more than 1,600 officers who have died while performing vital tasks such as foiling terrorists, quelling rioters and marshalling protests.

Among them was Pc Andrew Harper, who died when he was caught in a tow rope and dragged along country lanes after trying to stop quad bike thieves in Berkshire in August 2019.

His three teenage killers were cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter after an Old Bailey trial.

Photos of police officers killed in the line of duty in the UK: (Top row left to right) Pc William Frederick Tyler, Sergeant Robert Bentley, Sergeant Charles Tucker, Pc Walter Charles Choat, Police sergeant Frederick George Hutchins, Inspector Philip Pawsey. (2nd row left to right) Pc Geoffrey Roger Fox, Temporary Detective Constable David Stanley Bertram Wombwell, Detective Sargent Christopher Tippet Head, Pc Yvonne Fletcher, Pc Keith Blakelock, Detective Constable Jim Morrison. (3rd row left to right) Detective Constable Stephen Oake, Pc Stephen Jones, Pc Alison Armitage, PC Patrick Dunne, PC Andrew James, Detective Constable Michael Swindells. (4th row left to right) Pc Richard Gray, Pc Sharon Beshenivsky, Pc David Rathband, Pc Fiona Bone, Pc Nicola Hughes, Pc Andrew Duncan. (5th row left to right) Pc Kirsty Nelis, Pc Tony Collins, Pc James Dixon, Pc David Phillips, Pc Keith Palmer, Pc Andrew Harper

Photos of police officers killed in the line of duty in the UK: (Top row left to right) Pc William Frederick Tyler, Sergeant Robert Bentley, Sergeant Charles Tucker, Pc Walter Charles Choat, Police sergeant Frederick George Hutchins, Inspector Philip Pawsey. (2nd row left to right) Pc Geoffrey Roger Fox, Temporary Detective Constable David Stanley Bertram Wombwell, Detective Sargent Christopher Tippet Head, Pc Yvonne Fletcher, Pc Keith Blakelock, Detective Constable Jim Morrison. (3rd row left to right) Detective Constable Stephen Oake, Pc Stephen Jones, Pc Alison Armitage, PC Patrick Dunne, PC Andrew James, Detective Constable Michael Swindells. (4th row left to right) Pc Richard Gray, Pc Sharon Beshenivsky, Pc David Rathband, Pc Fiona Bone, Pc Nicola Hughes, Pc Andrew Duncan. (5th row left to right) Pc Kirsty Nelis, Pc Tony Collins, Pc James Dixon, Pc David Phillips, Pc Keith Palmer, Pc Andrew Harper

The roll of honour also includes unarmed Pc Keith Palmer, who was stabbed in March 2017 by Khalid Masood during the Westminster Bridge terror attack.

Masood's rampage, in which five people died, was ended when he was shot dead by a minister's close protection officer.

Pc Palmer was posthumously awarded the George Medal.

Also listed are the three unarmed Metropolitan Police officers murdered in Shepherd's Bush by Harry Roberts in 1966.

Detective Sergeant Christopher Head, 30, Detective Constable David Wombwell, 25, and Pc Geoffrey Fox, 41, were shot without warning while questioning three suspects in a van.

In more recent times, Pc Gary Toms, 37, was critically injured confronting suspects in Leyton, east London, on April 11 2009.

He died six days later when his life support machine was switched off, 25 years to the day after Pc Yvonne Fletcher was shot dead outside the Libyan embassy in London while controlling a crowd of demonstrators.

Her killer has never been brought to justice and film director Michael Winner founded the Police Memorial Trust as a result of her murder.

Pc Fiona Bone, 32, and Pc Nicola Hughes, 23, were murdered by Dale Cregan in Greater Manchester in September 2012.

Pc Ricky Gray was shot in the head by a gunman who then turned the weapon on himself in Shrewsbury in 2007, and Pc Sharon Beshenivsky was shot dead when she and a colleague tried to stop armed robbers in Bradford in November 2005.

Another name on the roll is Pc Keith Blakelock, a 40-year-old father of three who was set on by a mob and hacked to death with a machete during the Broadwater Farm riots in 1985.

Winston Silcott, along with two other men, was found guilty of his murder but in 1991 their convictions were overturned on appeal because of 'unsafe' police evidence.

Pc Ian Broadhurst, 34, of West Yorkshire Police, was murdered by David Bieber, 38, in Leeds on Boxing Day 2003.

Bieber also shot two of Pc Broadhurst's colleagues.

The American bodybuilder, who was wanted by the FBI for ordering two killings in Florida, was subsequently jailed for life.

Detective Constable Michael Swindells, 44, died after he was knifed in the stomach as he and colleagues conducted a search in Birmingham in May 2004.

Detective Constable Stephen Oake died during a police raid on a flat in Crumpsall, Manchester, in January 2003.

Kamel Bourgass launched a frenzied knife attack on the Special Branch officer as he tried to escape.

The Algerian was sentenced to life for his murder.

Det Con Oake's bravery not only saved the lives of several colleagues but potentially hundreds of people who Bourgass was plotting to kill with the poison ricin.

Pc Alison Armitage, 29, was run down by a stolen car in March 2001.

She died during an undercover operation in Hollinwood, near Oldham, Greater Manchester.

She was run over twice by a driver in a stolen vehicle in the car park of a derelict pub.

In October 1997, Pc Nina Mackay was stabbed to death in a raid in Stratford, east London, by paranoid schizophrenic Magdi Elgizouli.

Police officers also find themselves in danger when they are off duty.

Father-of-two Pc Ian Dibell, 41, was off work with a hand injury when he was killed near his home in Clacton in July 2012.

He had gone to help a member of the public who had been injured in a gun attack and was shot himself.

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