Angus Moat should be heard

Raoul Moat was a monster. But why did the police decline a crucial invitation to talk him down?

I am not going to pretend to be an expert on Raoul Moat. That he beat his children until their bruises were noticed in school and that he shot people is, in some ways, all I need to know.

However, as ever with these high-profile incidents ending in death, which seem increasingly egged on by the 24-hour media, there are major questions hanging over the police operation. I recommend that you read about and watch the words of Angus Moat, Raoul's brother, who has described not only how he is probably the first person in Britain to watch his brother become the subject of a "public execution" on TV, but also how his offers to talk the target down were "rebuffed" by police.

Meanwhile, be in no doubt: the trigger-happy police force in this country, as I argued in a cover story a year ago, is badly in need of fundamental reform.



James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.