Tributes to slain officer
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He is the first officer to have been slain on duty in Britain since 2012, but for New Zealand Police, the incident comes only three months after the killing of Constable Matthew Hunt in Auckland.
Police Association president Chris Cahill is among those who have sent messages of condolences to the Police Federation of England and Wales. “In New Zealand, we are acutely aware of the pain your members will be feeling at this time and we extend our aroha to you all.”
Matt, as he was known, was 54. Originally from Hawke’s Bay, he served with the Met for almost 30 years after moving to Britain in 1989. In 2003, he joined New Zealand Police as part of the first British High Commission Wing, No 212, serving in Auckland City and Counties Manukau before returning to London in 2008.
Matt was a member of the association during his time with NZ Police. Mr Cahill said it was clear from the messages from family and friends that Matt was an exceptional person who had the ability to talk to anyone.
The highly popular officer was also a powerhouse in the world of rugby. He had turned down a career in the game to join the Met, but outside of work he was head coach for the East Grinstead Rugby Football Club where he was described as a father figure to many players.
Glowing tributes to Matt were reported in the media, including from Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick who said: “Matt was an extraordinary person… a real larger-than-life character. So many people knew him. He had a wonderful personality and was very good at his job.”