Police officers have come together with the Croydon community for a football match in memory of the late Sergeant Matt Ratana.

The annual event was held at the Crystal Palace FC training ground, with both Met Police officers and local community groups taking to the pitch.

Some of the players represented grassroots organisations such as Project 4 Youth Empowerment (P4YE), Finesse Forever, and Mentivity.

Your Local Guardian: The Croydon team was made up of young people, youth organisations and community leadersThe Croydon team was made up of young people, youth organisations and community leaders (Image: Metropolitan Police)

The match offered a chance for young people, youth organisations, and community leaders to join the police, continuing to build trust and confidence between the groups.

In recent years, the Met has been dedicated to combating serious youth violence and knife crime in Croydon with the help of these partners and organisations.

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PC Rick Flynn, a Youth Engagement Officer from Croydon and one of the event's organisers, said: "The annual community cup match is in remembrance of Sergeant Matt Ratana who was a great figure within the community and loved sport.

"In order to make a difference and police Croydon effectively, collaborative working with partners is crucial.

"Using forums such as weekly community meetings to listen to community concerns and restructuring local policing so that we are tackling the crime that residents care about the most, will help us to deliver on our New Met for London priorities."

Your Local Guardian: The Croydon community team won the match 7-3 The Croydon community team won the match 7-3 (Image: Metropolitan Police)

PC Flynn also added that "improving trust and rebuilding confidence is important" to the Met.

Anthony King, from the My Ends Project in Croydon, said: "Our relationship with the Met is intentional.

"We are all committed to seeing a change and breaking down the barriers between the young black community and the police.

He added: "Some of our young people who engage regularly with the Met police played on behalf of Croydon.

"Initiatives such as this, is a great way of having those meaningful conversations and bringing the communities closer together."

The football game concluded with a 7-3 triumph from the Croydon team over the Met police officers.