Colleagues and friends of the slain police officer Matt Ratana performed a traditional Maori war dance as he was laid to rest on Wednesday (November 4).

Mourners at the former Metropolitan Police sergeant's funeral gathered to meet the coffin as it arrived for Wednesday's service in Sussex, and staged a moving 'haka' dance "as a mark of respect" that hails from Ratana's native New Zealand and its Maori indigenous people.

Ratana, 54, was shot and fatally wounded at Croydon Custody Centre in south London in the early hours of September 25 as he prepared to search a handcuffed suspect.

Tributes from friends, family and staff poured in for him in the days and weeks after his death and were reiterated at his funeral this afternoon.

Among them were head of the Metropolitan Police, Commissioner Cressida Dick, who said Wednesday:

"Matt was a fantastic, professional police officer.

"A brilliant Sergeant and a leader.

"A supremely loyal colleague and friend, a true team player.

"He mentored and coached generations of officers, young and old/junior and senior.

"The key to what made Matt a great police officer has already been mentioned – his lovely nature and his big, generous, lion’s heart.

"He brought amazing energy and determination to his job and to his life.

"As enthusiastic after 25 years as he was after two.

"Who else would have done a night duty at Wood Green, then had a great big breakfast – a great big Turkish Breakfast on Green Lanes no doubt - and then head back for another night shift.

"He had great presence but never shouted or drew attention to himself."