One week on from the dreadful murder of our colleague, Sergeant Matiu Ratana, known in the UK as Matt, it has been humbling to see and hear the heartfelt tributes to Matt in the UK and in New Zealand.
It has reminded all of us in the Metropolitan Police Service here in London how much the public values the efforts of police officers to keep them safe. We have heard from people of all backgrounds, faiths, ages and viewpoints, who recognise Matt's spirit and his service. At a time of sadness like this, that support means a huge amount.
Matt was a great police officer. He was a fine "skipper" – our word for a Sergeant – and a lovely man, with a ready smile and a big heart. A proud Māori, he loved his rugby and his fitness training and community work.
Our hearts go out to his partner Su and all of Matt's friends and family, his whānau, both his loved ones and his policing family.
Just as there are British expats who serve as police officers in the New Zealand Police, there are Kiwi officers serving in the Met and other British constabularies. Matt did both.
He served in the Met for nearly three decades and in the New Zealand Police, in Auckland City and Counties Manukau. It was a fitting tribute therefore for me to be able to host this week the New Zealand High Commissioner in London and the New Zealand Police Senior Liaison Officer to lay flowers and pay respects at the Croydon Custody Centre where Matt was murdered.
Visiting the site together, it was striking to see how in a single week the tributes to Matt had become a shrine of respect and pride in the impact he had on people's lives and the strength of feeling in his death. There were flowers, silver ferns, police and rugby tributes – all truly fitting for a man who loved policing and rugby, and took great pride in his service and in his heritage. Matt shared that pride with others, with the memory of his haka living on with colleagues in Croydon.
I was moved therefore to watch the haka at the Royal New Zealand Police College at Porirua in honour of officers killed in the line of duty. It was such a powerful tribute.
Met officers and staff are of course in close contact with colleagues in the New Zealand Police. We are grateful for their support.
I was glad to speak with the New Zealand Police Commissioner, Andrew Coster, who I know felt what we feel now when in June this year Police Constable Matthew Hunt was shot and killed in West Auckland. Another terrible tragedy, another police officer killed, another loss felt deeply by all who knew him.
Being a police officer can be extremely tough. Every day, officers face danger and they face it in order to keep people safe. Having served in the Met for nearly four decades, I know how tragic times like this unify people even more.
I know how in the UK as in New Zealand, this will serve to redouble our resolve to tackle crime and keep people safe. It will redouble our resolve to protect each other as we go out each day to serve and to protect the public.
It is hard to put into words the strength of feeling at the loss of a police officer and to find words that best show our support for the family and friends of officers who have been killed.
But I recall what Andrew Coster said to the family of PC Matthew Hunt: Kia kaha, Kia māia, Kia manawanui – Be strong, be brave, be steadfast.
So for Matthew and for Matt, both lost to us, both forever in our thoughts, and for their families and friends, I repeat those words here - Kia kaha, Kia māia, Kia manawanui – Be strong, be brave, be steadfast.
• Dame Cressida Dick is the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Scotland Yard.
The Met Police has opened a virtual condolences book at www.met.police.uk/in-memoriam. All messages will be read and some are being published on the website for others to read.