Nick Thomas-Symonds: PC Matt Ratana's death is a reminder of risks police face

I was devastated to hear of the death of Matt Ratana.

A man taken from his family, friends and fellow officers in an unforgivable act of violence.

Many of us can only imagine the heartache they will be feeling on receiving such news.

For those who were there, witnessing the scene will have been hugely traumatic.

All of them are in our thoughts.

From the Labour Party we send our deepest sympathies and commit to doing what we can to help.

Tributes were left at the scene in Croydon after the shooting of PC Matt Ratana

I have been in touch with policing representatives this weekend and know that alongside deep pain, there will also be immense pride for an officer who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

This is an incredibly painful reminder of the risks the police take every day on our behalf.

Britain’s emergency services really are the best of us and we owe them an immense debt of gratitude.

We must also ensure that we learn from tragedies such as this and do all we can to prevent them happening again.

Today is also National Police Memorial Day and nowadays, we hear all too often about officers attacked as go about their work.

Spat at, pelted with bottles, stabbed and yes this week shot. This can’t go on.

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said the shooting was an ‘incredibly painful reminder’ of the risks faced by police officers

We need tough penalties for those who attack the police.

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That’s why Labour MPs worked on legislation to Protect the Protectors over a number of years. We also need more police officers.

Alongside that much more has to do done to stop the unacceptable rise in violence that is devastating communities and ruining lives across the country.

Today let us send tributes and thanks to the loved ones of a brave officer lost, whilst committing to do all we can to stop this happening again.


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