Shomrim pays tribute to police sergeant fatally shot in Croydon
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Shomrim pays tribute to police sergeant fatally shot in Croydon

Chaim Hochhauser of the group's Stamford Hill Branch said Sgt Matt Ratana 'was very nice, helpful, and his approach was ‘how can we make the Jewish community feel comfortable?'

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Sergeant Matiu Ratana, known as Matt, who died after being shot at a police station in Croydon, south London.
Sergeant Matiu Ratana, known as Matt, who died after being shot at a police station in Croydon, south London.

Members of the Stamford Hill Jewish community “could not believe it” when they heard of the fatal shooting of Sergeant Matt Ratana in Croydon Police custody suite last week.

Chaim Hochhauser, of the Stamford Hill branch of Shomrim, the community security group which has close links with the Metropolitan Police, knew Sergeant Ratana well.

He said: “Sergeant Ratana was part of the Safer Neighbourhood team in Hackney and we went on a lot of patrols together. He was very nice, very helpful, and his main approach was ‘how can we make the Jewish community feel comfortable?’” 

Mr Hochhauser said that the sergeant was keen on “stamping out instances of antisemitism”. In return Shomrim donated bike lights and helmets to the local police team — “it worked both ways”.

Only two weeks ago Sergeant Ratana, who was originally from a Maori family in New Zealand, had sent Mr Hochhauser a message wishing him a happy new year. “His text is still on my phone”. 

“We have lost a great friend”, Mr Hochhauser said. “No one can believe what has happened”. He said that in due course Shomrim would consider what the organisation would like to do to honour Sergeant Ratana’s memory.

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