The acting Chief Constable of Northumbria police, Sue Simm, has anounced in the last hour that she has called off the search for Raoul Moat. Speaking to a hastily convened press conference she said "I have decided that enough is enough, we are no closer to finding Mr Moat than we were 7 days ago. I believe Mr Moat should now be declared the winner of the Northumbria Annual Hide and Seek Contest."
Commenting on why the police had put up such a bad show in this years contest she said "We got off to a bad start, the rules state that we had to turn our backs and count to 1000 while Mr Moat went to hide. It was only when we had counted to 158 that we realised that there was nobody in our force who cold count to 1000. It then took us 2 days to locate an officer with the requisite skills and arrange his secondment from a southern force."
Asked to comment on allegations made by Mr. Moat that the Northumbria force had cheated by bringing in thousands of officers from other forces, as well as the army, she said "I find Mr Moat's allegations of cheating to be very offensive. I think that it is Mr. Moat who is the cheat. You should remember that he didn't just hide and wait for us to find him. On the contrary he kept changing hiding places which isn't against the rules, as such, but shows a less than sporting attitude."
Acting Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, Sue Simm
After the press conference the senior officers of the Northumbria force were challenged, by your correspondent, to find their own arses with both hands, for a reward of £20. Ms. Simm came closest but only managed to locate one buttock before breaking down in tears when a passerby commented that her arse looked big in her uniform.
via our crime correspondent, Mr D. Rex.+++ UPDATE +++
+++ Breaking news from Reuters +++ (Possibly)
"Fugitive" Raoul Moat gave his views on the Northumberland Police at a packed news conference this morning. Addressing the media throng outside the Dog and Flack Jacket, Rothbury, Moat said he had been "disgusted" by the way the police had behaved.
"Look canny lad," he said "I've got a lot of issues, like, me y'know. It's not easy being a Geordie called Raoul, cos everyone thinks I'm a softy southern shite with a name like that, like, so its no fucking wonder I'm a bloody psycho. It was alright for the Boy Called Sue bloke and they even wrote a fuckin' song about him, like."
Mr Moat continued
"Anyway, like, I've been trying to do this Death by Cop Thing for nearly a bloody week now, but the police won't pay me no attention. I keep ringing them up to tell them were I am, but they won't fuckin' answer. Some one told me the switchboard is run by them Community Service Officers but they aren't allowed to answer the phone in case they get brain cancer!"
"I've signed in, in me own name at the pub, like, but no one's been there. Apparantly they're all having a health and safety course over at Gateshead. I told one bobby where I was, like, but he said that he couldn't do anything because there was no risk assessment protocol and anyway ACPO hadn't issued a position statement or made any money out of me yet."
"I've been waivin' and shoutin' at 'em like, but they just put their blue lights on and fuck off the other way sharpish! I tell you boys, it's fuckin' crap, like, this is. I blame that fucking woman off the Vicar O' Dibley, she's a fuckin' lunatic man! She shouldn't be Chief Constable of fuckin' Trumpton"
Meanwhile in other developments, Acting Chief Constable of Northumberland issued a further statement. Speaking from the Pampas Grass which surrounds her home, Sim confirmed that in an unfortunate accident a woman had been shot in the head in Gateshead. It appears that the officers panicked when they heard a rumour that the woman "had a Brazilian".
Sim also confirmed that her force had enlisted the services of a B52 bomber, Andy McNab, the 4th Russian Tank Division and Paul the Psychic Octopus. "We are especially pleased that Paul the Psychic Octopus has joined us" said Sim "We now believe this investigation has legs".
via our Home Office Correspondent, Mr Gildas (aka The Monk)
Acting Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, Sue Sim