Sgt Matt Ratana receiving his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal from the Commissioner Cressida Dick on 31 May 2017. Photograph: Metropolitan Police.

Local tributes have been paid to Sergeant Matiu Ratana, 54, who was fatally shot on 25 September while on duty in a custody suite in Croydon.

Sgt Ratana had worked as a Hackney police officer between 2010 and 2015 in the neighbourhoods and response teams, before moving to Croydon to work in response, neighbourhoods and detention command, having spent nearly 30 years as an officer in uniform in London.

A fundraiser set up in Sgt Ratana’s memory, administered by the Metropolitan Police Hayes Sports Club, the Warren, has already raised over £20,000.

Borough Commander Marcus Barnett said: “Beyond words to describe how shocked and saddened we all are at the death and loss of a much loved member of the Met team.

“On behalf of all the staff at Matt’s previous place of work, Hackney, we offer our love and condolences.

“You will never be forgotten.”

A statement from the Hackney Metropolitan Police Service read: “For years this man, this hero, this skipper was the centrepiece of community policing in Hackney.

“He shaped the lives of many, be that victims, suspects or colleagues. Sgt Ratana was the best. Gone, but most definitely not forgotten.”

The Metropolitan Police said yesterday that the investigation into Sgt Ratan’s murder is “continuing at pace,” led by homicide detectives from the Specialist Crime Command and supported by forensic specialists, search teams and local officers searching locations in Norbury, Surrey, Pollards Hill in South London, and a central London location.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy, responsible for the investigation, said yesterday: “We have traced a number of witnesses who have been able to contribute significant information about the events leading up to the shooting.

“We continue to pursue multiple lines of inquiry and consider the results of initial forensic examinations, including of the gun recovered from custody.

“The murder of Sgt Ratana sent shockwaves through the Metropolitan Police Service. Nevertheless his colleagues are determined to find justice for him and his family.

“One of my priorities remains to ensure that any future prosecution is not jeopardised and I would again highlight that speculation over what took place on Friday is unhelpful.

“I would like to thank everyone for their continued support which I know has buoyed colleagues at this extremely dark time.”

Local community safety chief Cllr Caroline Selman expressed her own shock at the loss of “a man who is remembered with great respect by those who worked alongside him.”

Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville also offered his “solidarity” to the Metropolitan Police as well as the team in Croydon.

Writing on social media, Glanville referenced photographs of Sgt Ratana working in Hackney, saying: “The photo from outside the Town Hall and this image only add to the sense of loss and the affection he had for Hackney when he was here helping to keep the borough safe.”

“As the Mayor [Sadiq Khan] says, all of our thoughts must be with his friends, family and colleagues after this shocking incident. [It is] also a timely reminder of the risks the police and our public servants take everyday.”

You can donate to the crowdfunder here

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