Cressida Dick remembers Matt Ratana at National Police Memorial Day service
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Dame Cressida Dick has remembered officers including Sergeant Matt Ratana who have died in the line of duty as leaving a legacy of “hope, motivation and inspiration”.
Britain’s most senior police officer addressed bereaved families and colleagues during a National Police Memorial Day (NPMD) service at Lincoln Cathedral, following a short Bible reading by Home Secretary Priti Patel.
The service comes the day after the anniversary of Sergeant Matt Ratana’s death.
The 54-year-old Metropolitan Police officer was killed by a handcuffed suspect at a custody suite in Croydon, south London, on September 25 2020.
Remembering Sgt Ratana and others who have died, Dame Cressida said: “Our first thought, as mine was on that dreadful morning a year ago yesterday when I woke to be told that one of my officers, Matt, had been shot, is to protect their family and those who love them.
“This year, we sadly add six more families to those we want to protect and support.
“The families of Paul Keany, Chris Miller, Matt Ratana, Darryl Street, Thomas White and Quamar Zaman.
“We will never forget you nor will we ever forget the sacrifice your loved ones made.
“Their lives give us hope, motivation and inspiration that through our police work good can prevail, safety and peace can be secured.
“Each and every one of our fallen colleagues will have helped and protected so many people, brought comfort, justice, safety, hope, reassurance and courage to others. We are proud of them.”
The officers named by Dame Cressida include Sergeant Paul Keany, 44, of Northamptonshire Police who died while on duty on March 11 last year and whose death was “not treated as suspicious” according to the force.
Metropolitan Police Constable Christopher Miller died in a crash as he rode a motorbike on his way to work on September 15 last year, the Met Police Federation said.
The Scottish Police Memorial Trust listed Constable Thomas White, who served Police Scotland for 29 years, on their roll of honour, saying he “collapsed and died while walking home from duty” on February 10.
Constable Darryl Street of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary died in a car crash on January 14 aged 59, according to Cumbria Constabulary where he also previously served as an officer.
Greater Manchester Police Federation said Constable Quamar Zaman died aged 38 on March 25.
Speaking at the service, Priti Patel read Corinthians 13, a passage on the subject of love from the New Testament of the Bible.
The Prime Minister also paid tribute to police officers who have died in a message on Twitter.
Boris Johnson said: “No words can adequately do justice to the debt we as a nation owe fallen police officers.
“Without their dedication and willingness to run toward danger we simply would not be able to live our lives in safety and security.
“It’s something we must never take for granted.”
The Lincoln service was led by Reverend Canon David Wilbraham MBE, who said: “On this National Police Memorial Day, we give thanks for the bravery, courage and sacrifice of officers who since British policing began, have died on 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.