Raoul Moat hunt costs £1.4m

The search for shotgun killer Raoul Moat has cost more than £1.4 million, the force which mounted the huge operation said today.

Northumbria Police released the figures for the manhunt, which took seven days and included officers from 18 forces and was one of the largest ever undertaken in this country.

Moat, 37, shot his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart in Birtley, Gateshead, after killing her new boyfriend Chris Brown. Less than 24 hours later he blinded unarmed officer Pc David Rathband.

Moat hid in Rothbury, Northumberland, where he killed himself a week after the Birtley shootings after he was cornered by police.

Northumbria Police said it had received numerous requests to reveal the cost of the search, known as Operation Bulwark.

It said the current figure stood at more than £1.4 million, though that could still rise because of on-going proceedings.

Two men are on trial at Newcastle Crown Court accused of assisting Moat's murderous rampage. They deny all charges against them.

There will also be costs associated with an inquest into Moat's death, which has been investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

A force spokesman said: "Northumbria Police have received a number of requests to make known the cost of the operation and are now in a position to do so.

"It should be noted however, that the costs may increase slightly due to current and future legal proceedings."

The current cost is £1,411,354. This includes £460,062 in payments to other forces for the assistance of their officers; £585,406 for overtime carried out by Northumbria Police staff while the manhunt was ongoing; a further £93,110 in overtime since then and a further £272,776 in other costs. These include forensic science services, fuel and specialist equipment.

Temporary Chief Constable Sue Sim said: "This operation was unprecedented and posed significant challenges due to the terrain we had to search in and the fact that Moat was armed.

"He had already demonstrated that he was prepared to kill, to seriously injure and had also threatened to continue to do so.

"This made it even more difficult and dangerous for the officers and staff involved and firearms officers had to accompany every search.

"Our primary objective was always to protect the public and prevent anyone else from being injured.

"I am extremely proud of my officers and staff for the way they dealt with such a challenging situation. I am also grateful to those colleagues from other forces that helped and supported us.

"We always endeavour to ensure that, even in such challenging circumstances, we are mindful of the costs involved and I am absolutely convinced that we did so very effectively throughout this operation."

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