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FUGITIVE gunman Raoul Moat has threatened the public as well as the police, it emerged today.
As the manhunt entered its sixth day, Northumbria Police said there was a heightened danger to the public and warned that the search of the countryside around Rothbury where Moat is believed to be hiding would take time.
Officers suspect people may still be helping Moat evade capture as Temporary Chief Constable Sue Sim told a press conference: "Information has now emerged that Mr Moat has made threats towards the wider public."
The main threat posed by Moat had previously been thought to concern only the police — after he murdered his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend because she had lied and told him he was a cop.
Chief Constable Sim's comments came as the officer leading the manhunt, Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Adamson, revealed that two more men were arrested in the Rothbury area last night on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Two other alleged accomplices appeared before Newcastle magistrates this morning accused of being part of Moat's conspiracy to hunt down and kill policemen.
Mr Adamson also appealed to "an individual" who rang police at 10.30pm last night with information about a motor vehicle linked to the investigation.
He said: "I would like to hear from that person again, and I would ask them to re-contact either the police or Crimestoppers direct."
He added that Moat could be getting help to evade police, saying: "There are several lines of inquiry in relation to how and if he is communicating with other people.
"There are numerous new lines of inquiry that have come to light in the past 24 hours, all of which are being progressed at a pace.
"I am disappointed that we haven't located Mr Moat yet and I'm sure all the public hold that view."
Earlier today dramatic CCTV emerged showing Moat, 37, visiting a shop in Newcastle.
The pictures recorded on Friday - hours before he shot his ex-girlfriend, Samantha Stobbart, 22, and murdered her new lover, Chris Brown, 29 - show stocky Moat looking at goods on the shelves at a B&Q store.
He then went on to shoot PC David Rathband, 42, as the officer sat in his patrol car in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Mrs Sim said today police "remain as committed today as we were at the start" to tracking Moat down.
But she stressed the public, as well as police, could now be at risk from him.
She revealed: "From the outset we stressed Mr Moat's threats are largely directed towards police.
"Information has now emerged that Mr Moat has made threats towards the wider public.
"I want to stress we have the resources and resilience to deal with this situation and my officers are out in large numbers to provide reassurance and protection."
Mrs Sim said her force was supported by the National Search Centre and had received advice from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and the military.
She said armoured vehicles have been brought in from Northern Ireland because they are better suited to the rugged terrain.
Mrs Sim added that Northumbria was "extremely difficult to search" because of its varied landscape, including caves, ravines, dense woodland and deep water.
She said: "Our intention remains to apprehend Mr Moat safely and bring this to an end."
Mrs Sim added: "I spoke to many of my officers in the area yesterday. Their determination and focus to bring this to a conclusion remains unwavering."