Hunt continues for Britain's most wanted man

Police sharp shooters and a fleet of armoured off-road cars were tonight drafted into the hunt for Britain's most wanted man.

As Raoul Moat continued to evade capture, police offered a £10,000 reward for help in tracking down the former nightclub bouncer.

Detectives revealed they had found Moat's moorland hide-out, along with a letter written to his ex-girlfriend, near to Rothbury, Northumbria.

Her father, Paul Stobbart, pleaded with Moat to turn himself in, saying: "Raoul, son, please this has to stop, we don't want anyone else hurt."

Moat went on the run after karate instructor Chris Brown, 29, was gunned down in the Scafell area of Birtley, Gateshead, in the early hours of Saturday.

The fatal shooting, in which 22-year-old Miss Stobbart suffered critical injuries, sparked a huge manhunt as Moat declared war on police.

Pc David Rathband, 42, was shot early on Sunday in an "unprovoked attack" while sitting in a patrol car in East Denton, Newcastle.

At a press conference today, Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Adamson made another direct appeal to Moat, saying: "I've said it before and I will say it again, we want to apprehend you safely. Please give yourself up."

Mr Adamson said he had a "gut feeling" that 37-year-old Moat remains on the run near Rothbury armed with one or two weapons and ammunition.

He said the £10,000 reward is on offer for information leading to Moat's arrest as police investigate hundreds of tip-offs from the public.

Scotland Yard said it is sending 40 specialist firearms officers, armed with Heckler and Koch G36 assault rifles, to help the search, while the Police Service of Northern Ireland delivered 20 armoured cars.

They will join specialist firearms officers, including snipers armed with high velocity weapons with telescopic sights.

Mr Adamson said investigators believe others have helped Moat evade police "indirectly or otherwise" as the gunman travelled around Northumbria.

He added that two men - named in reports as 26-year-old Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan, 23, - arrested yesterday on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder had helped police with inquiries.

It also emerged today that detectives believe Moat was responsible for a robbery at a chip shop in Blyth on Monday night.

Mr Adamson said: "We believe Mr Moat to be a measured individual who appears to carefully plan his actions and is comfortable in an outdoor environment.

"While the search is now focusing on the Rothbury area, I am mindful of the potential for Mr Moat to have fled the area.

"We are therefore continuing a wide variety of intensive operational and investigative activity across the entire force area."

The police manhunt continues to focus on countryside around Rothbury, which one former girlfriend said was Moat's "favourite place in the whole world".

Police are investigating several potential sightings of Moat and released new details today of his appearance and clothing.

They recovered a tent and other items, including the latest letter, from a "secluded spot" on the outskirts of Rothbury.

Mr Adamson said the content of the letter is "very much personal between the two" but police have not yet given it to Miss Stobbart.

He said: "In it, Mr Moat reasserts his belief that Samantha's partner was a police officer. I repeat this is not the case."

Senior officers are desperate to capture Moat without further injury or loss of life but he has threatened to kill police.

Moat used his first letter, handed to the press, to warn: "The public need not fear me but the police should as I won't stop till I'm dead."

Although police believe Moat remains in or around Rothbury, plans are in place to intercept him anywhere in Northumbria.

"In a wider sense, the net is closing. In terms of the overall investigation, we are making steady and significant progress," said Mr Adamson.

"I am concerned, as I'm sure everyone in the country is, that we apprehend Mr Moat very soon."

Moat, who has blue eyes and is of heavy build, is believed to be wearing a grey or light blue hoodie, a red T-shirt, dark-coloured jeans and white trainers.

Investigators emphasised his imposing size and appearance, saying he is 6ft 3in tall and approximately 17-and-a-half stone with cropped blond hair.

Temporary Chief Constable Sue Sim said the arrest of the two men yesterday was a "key breakthrough".

She said Moat is a "dangerous individual" but this is directed towards police and the armed response was "proportionate" to the threat.

Anyone with information about Moat is asked to call 03456 043043 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn