Major operation underway in search for Moat

Police in England have tonight warned people to “stay inside” as a major operation got under way in the search for fugitive Raoul Moat.

In Rothbury town centre police were seen to speed away in patrol cars as Chief Superintendent Mark Dennett of Northumbria Police told locals to stay indoors for their “own safety”.

Marksmen were seen in the riverside area of the town amid rumours the 37-year-old could be in the area.

Locals said the police activity was centring on allotments near the town centre where a man fitting Moat's description was spotted last night.

As armed police swamped the area an ambulance arrived and made its way to the river side.

A police source said a person had been apprehended.

There was no one on the streets apart from police officers standing guard on the eastern approach road to Rothbury.

A security cordon of officers and vans stopped traffic entering the town from the east side while five police vans in convoy drove past with sirens blaring.

Juliette Ballantyne, from Whitton View, said she had seen snipers down by the river.

Mrs Ballantyne, who lives to the east of Rothbury town centre, said: “I am nervous. My mother in law lives nearby. I hope she’s okay.”

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Moat 'more likely' to surrender as night falls

Police find three phones used by fugitive

Manhunt enters seventh day

Friends 'helping' Moat evade capture

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