Gunman Raoul Moat has 'threatened public'

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Fugitive gunman Raoul Moat has threatened the public as well as the police, it emerged today.

As the manhunt entered its sixth day, Northumbria Police said there was a heightened danger to the public and warned that the search of the countryside around Rothbury where Moat is believed to be hiding would take time.



Temporary Chief Constable Sue Sim told a press conference: "Information has now emerged that Mr Moat has made threats towards the wider public."



Her comment came as the officer leading the manhunt, Detective chief superintendent Neil Adamson, revealed that two more men were arrested in the Rothbury area last night on suspicion of assisting an offender.



Two other alleged accomplices appeared before Newcastle magistrates this morning accused of being part of Moat's conspiracy to hunt down and kill policemen.

Video: Moat 'a threat to public'











Mrs Sim said police "remain as committed today as we were at the start" to tracking Moat down.



She said that the public, as well as police, could now be at risk from him.



Mrs Sim said: "From the outset we stressed Mr Moat's threats are largely directed towards police.



"Information has now emerged that Mr Moat has made threats towards the wider public.



"I want to stress we have the resources and resilience to deal with this situation and my officers are out in large numbers to provide reassurance and protection."



Mrs Sim said her force was supported by the National Search Centre and had received advice from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and the military.



She said armoured vehicles have been brought in from Northern Ireland because they are better suited to the rugged terrain.



Mrs Sim added that Northumbria was "extremely difficult to search" because of its varied landscape, including caves, ravines, dense woodland and deep water.



She said: "Our intention remains to apprehend Mr Moat safely and bring this to an end."



Mrs Sim added: "I spoke to many of my officers in the area yesterday. Their determination and focus to bring this to a conclusion remains unwavering."









On the wider threat, DCS Adamson said: "There is information that has come to our attention that has led us to conclude there is a wider threat to the public.



"From day one the key priority, the main priority, has been the protection of the public and that has always been the case."



The senior detective said the two new arrests of two men suspected of helping Moat were made "in the vicinity of Rothbury" early yesterday evening.



He said: "Both men are currently in custody and we are pursuing a range of inquiries in relation to this matter."



Mr Adamson added: "Based on all intelligence, information and advice we have at this time, we still believe Mr Moat is in the Rothbury vicinity.



"However, and as I said yesterday, our efforts to locate Mr Moat extend across the entire force.



"I would once again like to thank the public for their support and the information they continue to provide.



"I would ask people to keep contacting either Northumbria Police or Crimestoppers with any information they believe may be relevant. This information is shaping the inquiry."











Two other men appeared at Newcastle magistrates' court today accused of helping Moat hunt down and kill policemen.



Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan are charged with conspiracy to commit murder and possessing a firearm with intent.



Ness was allegedly with Moat when he shot his former girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and killed her new partner Chris Brown early on Saturday.



The next day Moat allegedly shot and seriously injured Pc David Rathband and declared war on Northumbria Police in a rambling letter.



Ness and Awan are accused of being with Moat when the officer was shot and of helping him look for police targets.



Ness, 26, from Dudley, north Tyneside, and Awan, 23, from Blyth in Northumberland, were remanded in custody to appear before Newcastle Crown Court on July 22.



Speaking outside court, Darren Rathband, brother of the injured officer, paid tribute to him.



He said: "My brother is an inspiration, not only to me. He should be an inspiration to everybody involved in this investigation.



"He wants to thank Northumbria officers and all the other officers from across the country who've come up here to resolve this incident."



Khashif Khan, representing Awan's family, said they believe the justice system will "exonerate their brother."



Ness and Awan were arrested by police as they walked away from Rothbury, in Northumbria, earlier this week.



The village remains at the centre of the huge manhunt for Moat as armed police search remote buildings and scour moorland.



Police released CCTV images of Moat captured at a branch of B&Q in Newcastle on Friday, hours before he shot his ex-girlfriend and killed her new lover.



Sporting a distinctive Mohican-style haircut, Moat was wearing a tight-fitting bright orange T-shirt with dark jeans and white trainers.



Senior officers said the up-to-date images show how he has lost weight and may help the public identify him.



Police believe Moat is armed with one or two weapons and has a stockpile of ammunition.



The fugitive has vowed not to stop killing "till I'm dead" in a letter to the police, who he blames for the loss of his children, girlfriend and liberty.













Mr Adamson appealed to "an individual" who rang police at 10.30pm last night with information about a motor vehicle linked to the inquiry.



He said: "I would like to hear from that person again, and I would ask them to re-contact either the police or Crimestoppers direct.



"I am not releasing the details of the vehicle for investigative reasons."



The senior detective suggested investigators believe people may still be helping Mr Moat evade police.



He warned that anyone "assisting, harbouring or helping" Moat would be arrested and prosecuted.



Mr Adamson added: "There are several lines of inquiry in relation to how and if he is communicating with other people."



He said: "There are numerous new lines of inquiry that have come to light in the past 24 hours, all of which are being progressed at a pace.



"I would once again like to express our desire to resolve this situation safely, and that the force is making every effort to do so."



Answering questions from reporters, Mr Adamson said police received a hoax call from someone pretending to be Moat.



He said: "The last thing that I want to do is deal with hoax calls. I'm confident that we received a call yesterday that would fall into that category."



Mr Adamson said there were no named individuals under threat from the rogue gunman.



He added: "I am disappointed that we haven't located Mr Moat yet and I'm sure all the public hold that view."



Referring to comments he made on Tuesday, he said: "My comments made in respect of the net closing were in respect of the wider inquiry.



"We believe the likelihood is that he is in that area (Rothbury) but we are not putting all our eggs in one basket, as it were."



"We will continue to respond, dynamically, to any information we receive."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
Sport
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas