One of the biggest manhunts ever has ended tonight. Raoul Moat’s game of hide and seek with police finally came to an end at about 7.30pm. For 7 days he’s been on the run and has managed to escape helicopters & tornado jets equipped with thermal imaging cameras, not to mention hundreds of armed police and the general public. It was rambo-like while it lasted…
Both Sky News and BBC News have been in Rothbury village daily, reporting on the story by the hour and getting all sorts of experts in to talk about survival techniques, psychology, weaponry used by police and by Moat himself…
So why was he on the run in the first place? Well, he shot his ex-girlfriend and killed her partner having just got out of prison. He then shot an unarmed police officer in his car and later robbed a chip shop at gun point. Plus he broke in to a house for some food supplies whilst he camped out in a forest having ditched his getaway car.
Once the car was found, policed stepped up the search and eventually found a tent where he had been camping along with a letter addressed to his girlfriend. So not only had he moved on, showing great awareness, he also knew the police were on his tail and would find the letter. It’s straight out of Hollywood… A genius criminal on the loose who’s always one step ahead of the police.
As i write this, he’s pointing a gun at his head whilst surrounded by armed police and he’s been in this stand off for almost 3 hours now. It’s hard to see this one ending peacefully… if moat has any sense he’ll know he faces the rest of his life in prison, having just got out of it. Trying to convince a guy like that his life is worth living for isn’t a job i’d fancy. He has children, so that’s a card they can play but the police negotiators will probably have to lie through their teeth to get him to surrender peacefully.
Tazers, rubber bullets, snipers… the police have options. They could shoot his hand or his weapon and move in quickly or they could shower him with rubber bullets and knock him out… talking is the best way but this is a guy under huge mental stress and has been on the run for the past 7 days so he probably hasn’t had much sleep.
All of this is unfolding on news channels but also on twitter. Northumbria Police have tweeted this:
Urgent message to the media: Your presence is affecting the ongoing operation. 10 mile exclusion is being put in place. Please respect this.
A 10 mile exclusion zone is a tad excessive but it shows you just how annoying the media can be for police when they’re trying to do their job. They’re blocking roads with cameras, asking officers live, on camera, for updates, asking locals for latest information and generally just being a pain in the ass.
For most of us though, this is all pure entertainment…. ‘distasteful’ or not, we love it. Those that don’t like the media coverage will be the same people glued to their TV. The helicopters, the ridiculous number of armed police, snipers, over the top media coverage… it’s all entertainment and it keeps eyes on TV channels and sells papers. Plus you can be sure they’ll milk documentaries and reconstructions from it too. It’s amazing the amount of chaos one man can cause…