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Should there be sympathy for Raoul Moat?

15:23 UK time, Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Prime Minister David Cameron says there should be no sympathy for "callous murderer" Raoul Moat. Do you agree?

Mr Cameron told the House of Commons all public sympathy should be for the gunman's victims. He spoke after flowers were left at the scene of Moat's death in Northumberland and messages of sympathy to him were left on Facebook.

Raoul Moat is believed to have shot Samantha Stobbart, 22, killed her partner Chris Brown and injured Pc David Rathband. After a week on the run, Moat apparently shot himself in Rothbury on Saturday.

Do you agree with the Prime Minister? Why do you think there is sympathy for Moat? Should Facebook pages sympathising with him be taken down?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 12

  • Comment number 1.

    The sympathy of those misguided few,
    Who hero-worship troubled souls anew,
    That quite forgot his former sentence served,
    That he attacked a child is quite absurd!

    Yet what be more important to this crowd,
    The price of freedom that it be allowed,
    That he did shoot shoot a policeman in the head,
    Be of more worth than innocent men dead.

  • Comment number 2.

    Look the tabloids treated this like some kind of british version of the first Rambo film 'First Blood'.

    The way they reported this story glamourised his actions and portrayed him as an anti-hero.

    Now certain of the more gullible sections of the public are treating him like the hero he was portrayed as in the media.

    Don't blame the public - they're just gullible.

    Blame the media that turned him into a celebrity.

    Come on Mr Cameron, lets see how brave you are - attack the coverage of the story, not those who were taken in by it.

  • Comment number 3.

    This was a man who came out of prison half way through a 4 month sentence for assaulting a 9 year old girl, went on to kill one person and seriously wound two others, one of whom was a policeman, who he may well have blinded for life. And there are people who think he is some kind of hero? What a sick society we live in.

  • Comment number 4.

    Absolutely not, thats why this country is in the mess it is in, totally fed up with the namby pamby approach to criminals and thugs in this country. The media have made this man in to some kind of martar for all the mindless thugs in this country. He was a violent thug who killed and injured people, a man who people were afraid of. It is an awful thing to say but in this mans case i for one am glad that my taxes will not be providing him with a roof over his head and decent food.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    None of us should ever say what others should or should not do. We live in a free democracy and the prime minister must remember that.
    Personally I do not agree with people leaving sympathy flowers and cards where Moat died but I do respect their right to do what they think is right for them. If we cannot respect other peoples rights then we are surely lost. We if all think and do the same then we are robots, automatons. We must strive to be free and remember our freedoms while respecting others.

  • Comment number 8.

    Another reminder of why I can't stand the Tories. Echoes of John Major "We should start to condemn more and understand less". A vile sentiment if ever there was one.

    I think anyone who dies by their own hand, while crying that they have no father and that nobody in the world cares for them deserves a bit of sympathy. Raoul Moat was obviously cracked, a complete screw-up.

    Sympathy for his victims and sympathy for Moat aren't mutually exclusive. What happened in Rothbury was a tragedy for all involved.

    I do think the "Raoul Moat - Legend" Facebook group is pretty appalling though, and do myself find that rather incomprehensible. That's not sympathy for a disturbed mind. That's just glorifying a murderer.

  • Comment number 9.

    The man is dead. I don't know what demons drove him - nor does anybody else. I can't imagine that a man who shoots other people then turns his gun on himself is in a rational state, or is blissfully happy. So, with David Cameron's permission, I'll maintain my capacity for sympathy for a man who wound up in a very dark place.

    None of which means that I have no sympathy for those he killed and hurt and frightened. Of course I do. They deserve all the support, sympathy and care they can get.

  • Comment number 10.

    I have some compassion as a 'human being' for another 'human being' who has taken his own life. But not sympathy for his actions. Moat killed a man he did not know, shot a policeman, blinding him, and shot his ex-girlfriend who remains in hospital. Moat didn't think of his children or family or friends when he committed these selfish, brutal acts. It's not the job of the police to prevent a man who is holding a gun at his head to prevent him from doing so. The police have to protect the innocent public from such an armed man. So my compassion for moat is sadness that he felt that a human being has taken his own life, but given Moats selfish and brutal actions against others, I have no sympathy for him.

  • Comment number 11.

    This is the sort of society we have inherited after 13 years of Labour misrule where the only heroes are reality star and murderers.

  • Comment number 12.

    Thats exactly why i never joined facebook. Full of egos and rubbish spouted which i would not be interested in.

  • Comment number 13.

    Wow. Something I can actually agree with DC on. Any sympathy should be with the family of the man he murdered and with his other unfortunate victims.

    Moat has already had far more column inches than any of his victims put together.

    The media should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Comment number 14.

    The people in the village who's lives were turned upside down should remove the flowers and yes any public messages of sympathy to him should be removed. His family are not to blame for his actions but sympathy to them should be private, he was not a soldier who lost his life defending our country and was not killed in a trajic accident.

  • Comment number 15.

    Oh - and another thing. I get very very cussed when politicians try and tell me what I should and should not feel; whom I should judge and whom I should condemn. I get even more twitchy when they try to interfere with channels for expressions of opinions with which they disagree.

  • Comment number 16.

    the guy was a killer and more by luck thn anything else he didn't kill 3 people.

    I am glad he is dead as my taxes do not have to keep him in jail getting 3 meals a day.

    I only wish we did not have to go through an inquiry into his death as that will cost more tax payers money.

  • Comment number 17.

    How can anyone sympathise with a coldblooded killer who tried to kill three people. Although two survived the intention was to kill not maim.

    If everyone who had had a traumatic childhood turned into a killer what hope would there be for our society.

    He was given ample opportunity to give himself up and take his punishement.

  • Comment number 18.

    My sympathies go out to Moat's victims, not the killer. His former partner will not now have to spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder.

    So pleased that David Cameron hasn't gone all PC and has had the courage to publicly show his contempt for those who sympathise with a ruthless killer.

  • Comment number 19.

    No i do not feel sympathy for Raoul Moat , he chose his path he took someones life and tried to take the lives of two others , if he felt he had been hard done by he went the wrong way of gaining any sympathy .

  • Comment number 20.

    We used to reserve the term hero for men who braved the unknown, men who fought to preserve the freedom of their fellow countrymen, me who gave their lives/free time to help others. We used to use the term inspirational for women like Florence Nightingale, Mother Theresa and Mary Seacole.

    Now it seems they are using the terms for men who murder and women who take their tops off.

    It almost makes you ashamed to be British.

  • Comment number 21.

    I have no sympathy. In fact I think he did the honourable thing in taking his own life. Keeping him imprisoned would have cost the nation many thousands of pounds.
    He killed an innocent person and seiously injured a police officer. That officer could well loose his sight.
    As for criticism of the police, I think they acted with extreme retraint. It would have been permissible to have given him 10 seconds to drop his weapon before opening fire upon him.
    He deserved to die.

  • Comment number 22.

    Oh yeah, and how dare David Cameron tell me what I should and shouln't feel.

  • Comment number 23.

    Sympathy for this man ha what about sympathy for his victims and sympathy for the tax payers who have to pay for this operation personaly i think his family should pay costs and compensation to the victims

  • Comment number 24.

    I'd like to read the 49 page letter he wrote before I decide. He could be a complete tool with a gun, or somebody who has been soo angry at the system he has lost it.

    I recall hearing something about him settling down and going clean, then he was locked up for 18weeks. This would show a problem with the justice system would it not? People should be locked up promptly after commiting a crime.

    I had a friend (abso boy) who caused lots of trouble, he then got into a relationship with a girl and completly calmed down. For months he didn't do anything particularly bad and found a job and settled down. Then his court date came and he ended up been sentanced to 4months inside. Shouldn't people be sentanced close to the time they committed the crime? This didnt make much sence to me as it could influence him to go back to his old ways!

  • Comment number 25.

    Surely it's basic humanity to feel sympathy.

    You don't have to be sympathetic towards him for the murders he committed, or for killing himself, but at least be sympathetic to a mentally ill man who quite obviously has severe problems.

    I do feel sympathetic towards the man he was when he was alive, as his brother described him, because that man was quite clearly over taken by something else.

  • Comment number 26.

    "I feel sorry for his victims, and the police"

  • Comment number 27.

    Firstly, a man who could let his jalousie to get out of control to such an extent does not deserve any sympathy.

    Secondly, the whole affair appear to be seen as some kind of "honour killing" by the Moat sympathisers, justifiable as retribution by a man "wronged" by a woman (by implication - by daring to defy the will of the man).

    I find this reaction more disgraceful and revolting than even the acts of Moat himself.

  • Comment number 28.

    Whilst certainly not sympathetic I am somewhat concerned about the apparent use of an unauthorised albeit non lethal firearm, if it is unauthorised for deployment doesn't that make it illegal?

    Further what if the use of this unauthorised firearm caused a muscular spasm that triggered the shot that killed this man. Every one has seen footage of 'Tazer' and it definately does cause muscle to spasm as does any electrical shock.

    Is this an example of a creeping Police state?

    What next? Hands up or I shoot?

  • Comment number 29.

    i am not suprised at all that there are simple minded fools who feel sympathy for this murderer

    it is no different from the londoners who beieve things were better when ronnie and regie around.

    the same media (esp the bbc) went from potraying his evasion and then the run up to him being surrounded and eventual suicide to questioning the police methods and failure to arrest him.

    Especially sickening is the time given to his family who say they were not allowed to talk him in once pinned down but were nowhere to be seen when his rampage started and were absent from the media pleading for him to give himself up

    He killed people who did not deserve to be murdered and just because he shot policemen he is considered a hero

  • Comment number 30.

    It's not up to the Prime Minister to decide who other people should or shouldn't feel sympathy for. That's up to the individual person. We're all different.

    That said, I have very little sympathy for Raoul Moat. It seems like he was a very disturbed individual, but whilst a bad mental state is difficult to deal with, everyone's responsible for their own actions.

    A broken heart is not easy to deal with either, but that's no excuse for inflicting pain on others just because you're in pain. There's no sense in that. Surely, if you know how horrible it is to hurt, you wouldn't want to pass that on?

    I've had a look at one of the Facebook pages after reading this story, and mainly the posters seem to sympathise with him because they feel "he was against cops so he was on our side".

    Now that's something to look into. It reveals an "us vs them" mentality regarding the police force, which is worrying. When did the reputation of the police take such a hit, and how can that reputation be restored?

  • Comment number 31.

    I'd prefer our leaders not to tell us how to feel. Do we still have a Nanny in number 10?

  • Comment number 32.

    How trendy it is to be anti establishment and anti police in this awful country.

    I Saw the facebook page in support of this man and the spelling of his supporters is indicative of their mentality.

    More people should air their view on there.

    I feel for Raoul as a human but I also feel that this was his best outcome, just a shame that the people he killed and maimed cannot see him spend his life in jail.

    What a pity there is now a witch hunt for who is to blame for his death.

    I hope the press involved enjoy their awards for their reporting.

  • Comment number 33.

    Nobody is all good or all bad. What he did, obviously while less than 100% sane, was terrible. But for all that he was a human being who has died a violent, albeit self-inflicted, death. As Christians we surely ought to offer some prayer that his soul may find the peace it could not on earth.

  • Comment number 34.

    The man was clearly ill. Why on earth was he released? Was prison the appropriate place for him - should he have been in a high security psychiatric hospital?

    Had the police taken notice of the prison service's warnings none of this might have happened, and vast sums of money AND LIVES would have been saved.

    Indeed, if the prison service were aware he could be a danger, why was no action taken to prevent him from being released? Is there no assessment procedure in place?

    Is it correct that applause was heard after he shot himself? That is appalling.

    I do condemn acts of violence, but still realise that, however the perpetrator has to be dealt with (not leniently, in my opinion), their life is a tragic mess as well.

    I also feel deeply for the family of Chris Brown.

    The person who stands tallest is PC David Rathband, who said he bears Raoul Moat no grudge.

    Hero - no.

    Tragic figure - yes.

    Facebook page - over the top.

    Undeserving of sympathy in death - no, that doesn't sit comfortably in a country which bases itself upon Christian values.

  • Comment number 35.

    He was a man who cracked under pressures of our so called "modern" society
    He will not be the last, when you can no longer afford to live in a country then you can expect trouble.
    Expecting a upper class fool like Cameron and his cronies to understand this is country is braking people and we can stand no more is futile.
    Moat was a criminal and a murderer and his victims deserve sympathy, however somehow I think that those showing sympathy understand what causes a man to crack and this is what they sympathise with, not the actions of Moat, but the causes.

  • Comment number 36.

    "Do you agree with the Prime Minister?", No - see response 31.

    "Why do you think there is sympathy for Moat?" - A variety of reasons, anti-hero worship; Christianity says we should have sympathy for such people; etc etc.

    Should Facebook pages sympathising with him be taken down? - Most defiantly not, that would be Nanny-esque censorship and the slippery slope.

  • Comment number 37.

    If the police would give all the true facts straight away instead of changing stories every five minutes ....there was nothing fired...a taser was fired once ...oh no twice....they always seem to fuel the fire with the shady something to hide approach... The Mendez shooting is a prime example of that...

  • Comment number 38.

    David Cameron was absolutely right. This individual was clearly a wicked, wicked man who chose to end his own life - a choice he deprived his murder victim.

  • Comment number 39.

    Having watched the whole thing unfold on News 24, I feel there would have been less sympathy for Moat had the Police not come across, to me anyway, as enjoying marching about with machine guns. I fail to understand why it needed practically the entire Police force of England to catch one man. It seemed to me that many in the the Police wanted this to end in Moat's death, however that happened. The Police need to work on their PR a bit more, and to that end stop parading themselves on the many police chase action/road wars, etc, tv shows, which simply portray them in a bad light.

  • Comment number 40.

    The liars and criminals in the House of Commons have no right to dictate to anyone about morality.

  • Comment number 41.

    There should be no sympathy for Moat. My point is I don't think they should get rid of the Facebook pages praising him. Because I think it more informative to know that these people who can sympathise with a murderer actually exist in our society. There's so many pages on Facebook which I consider sick, but at the same time, if you want to understand the mentality of certain parts of society in Britain then just log on Facebook after any tragedy or horrific story. There will be people who have no humanity whatsoever. Be aware of them, and it may make you a little bit more wary when you walk down any street in Britain. In that sense, I think it's more beneficial, informative for those of us who have some heart to keep these pages up.

  • Comment number 42.

    Moat was clearer damaged mentally and in my mind that makes him a sympathetic character.

    The Prime Minister's words were not carefully chosen and I take offense at being told who and who I cannot feel sympathy for.

  • Comment number 43.

    David Cameron didn't get a majority in the election, now he's attempting to remove freedom of speech.

    Is this guy for real?

  • Comment number 44.

    I don't think there should be any sympathy for Moat but can see no reason why the PM should comment at all. Best if he keeps his mouth shut and gets on with his job

  • Comment number 45.

    There are many things about this story that doesn't gel
    Why should there be such a response, there was only a few things left out. A nuclear weapon for example.
    Everybody wanted in.To catch an obviously deranged killer, it beggars belief.20% of all armed units of the UK, come on.
    We are assailed with headlines "Did the police use a Taser?"
    of course they did all you had to do was to look in one of the Tabloids. The Policeman with the Taser is not eating something . it is his reaction to firing it.
    The Press (Media) do it all the time.
    They show a photo of the killer as a young boy, and the heart strings go.
    I could write an article and put Himmler's photo as a young kid in it . It doesn't change anything. he was still a nasty piece of work.
    Cameron was wrong. The Police need looked at so do the Media.
    When the Taxi driver was going about shooting people you couldn't get up the main st. for TV cameras.
    An absolute disgrace.

  • Comment number 46.

    Sympathy for someone who attacked a 9 year old child only did half of his sentence(9 months is a disgustingly low senyernce for someone attacking a child), then Shot and killed a complete stranger, shot his girlfriend and then went and shot a policeman only because he was there, is bad enough, but to hero worship him is sick and sickening. He was a child abusing Murderer who also shot 2 other people. What makes things worse is that many of those hereo worshippers are vilifying our brave troops. What is this country coming to, "Stop the world I want to get off"

  • Comment number 47.

    While I'm surprised that these Facebook groups exist, I'm even more surprised that the government is actively trying to take them down! It's alright to condemn them but it is totally not the government's job to tell people what to think!

  • Comment number 48.

    Absolutely agree - glad that it has been said, and a government showing some sensible guidance (makes a change).
    Absolutely the wrong slant on this story in the media and a moronic attitude shown by some members of the public in showing sympathy for Moat

  • Comment number 49.

    For once I agree with a politician. I have no sympathy what so ever for this man.

    He was a cold bloodied killer who was given ample opportunity to give him self up and the psychoanalyst who was interviewed on the Radio got it spot on.

    This man wanted to turn himself from a killer into some sort martyr hero and sadly our media have gone along with it in the name of sales.

    Sick sick sick.

  • Comment number 50.

    28. At 4:37pm on 14 Jul 2010, peacenik wrote:
    Whilst certainly not sympathetic I am somewhat concerned about the apparent use of an unauthorised albeit non lethal firearm, if it is unauthorised for deployment doesn't that make it illegal?

    Further what if the use of this unauthorised firearm caused a muscular spasm that triggered the shot that killed this man. Every one has seen footage of 'Tazer' and it definately does cause muscle to spasm as does any electrical shock.

    Is this an example of a creeping Police state?

    What next? Hands up or I shoot?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    How is this an example of a creeping police state?? And the taser was not unauthorised, the Home Office had stated that each police force could use them at their discretion and when absolutely necessary

  • Comment number 51.

    Moat was an ill man...

    Cameron is a fool...

    Facebook group is freedom of speech...

    The Media are wolves...

  • Comment number 52.

    No. He was murdering filth who thought that he had a right to shoot and kill other people because they didn't use their freedom of choice the way he wanted them to. A bully and a thug, who in the end got what he deserved.

  • Comment number 53.

    I don't feel sympathy for Moat, but I will not be preached to by anyone about who or what I should feel sympathy for.

    "I may not agree with what you say but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it" (widely attributed to Voltaire) is what David Cameron should be saying - not telling us what we should or should not think on any subject, not just Raoul Moat.

    The same right of free speech should and must apply to Facebook - many people might not like what it says, but they have the right to their own opinions and they have the right to reply.

  • Comment number 54.

    How can you have sympathy or empathy with a cold blooded killer, or anyone who would harm a child?

    The man could not be right in the head, I would agree with that.
    Even under those circumstances I still would not empathise or sympathise with him, he still harmed people.

    As a society we do somehow have more sympathy for the perpetrator of a crime rather than the victim. Or at least officialdom does!!

    As for the media they are only interested in selling their story, not really in the story itself.
    Why people are taken in by them is a mystery.

  • Comment number 55.

    He is a cold blooded killer, how can you hold any sympathy for such a person? It makes me sick that people would sympathise with him. You wouldn't be sympathising with him if one of the people he had murdered had been your family or a friend. Now the people where he lived can sleep at night, let their kids walk to school alone, and can live a normal life. He deserves nothing and it is a good job for all that he has ended his life now before he kills any more innocent people for no reason but "he was ill". So if your ill you can go around shooting people. PLEASE people open your eyes!

  • Comment number 56.

    Obviously his family and friends are going to grieve and rightly so. Mr Moat was not always the callous thug his final days showed. However his actions are to be condemned as should the media frenzy surrounding the situation.
    I can also understand why people are leaving anti-police messages on Facebook. In recent years the police have taken a stance that assumes everyone is guilty, they use unnecessary force and then hide behind lies and a corrupt police complaints process. The IPCC is a joke and a total waste of time.
    Cameron expresses shock at how people are making adverse comments about the police. Luckily for us it is just comments at the moment. The police are building a level of resentment that could easily spill over into riots and we now have a youth population that does not have any sense of right & wrong or community involvement and with easy access to firearms. There needs to be an urgent review of policing in the UK. Respect has to be earned and is a two way street the police are ignoring this.

  • Comment number 57.

    35. At 4:44pm on 14 Jul 2010, yorkshire News wrote:
    He was a man who cracked under pressures of our so called "modern" society
    He will not be the last, when you can no longer afford to live in a country then you can expect trouble.
    Expecting a upper class fool like Cameron and his cronies to understand this is country is braking people and we can stand no more is futile.
    Moat was a criminal and a murderer and his victims deserve sympathy, however somehow I think that those showing sympathy understand what causes a man to crack and this is what they sympathise with, not the actions of Moat, but the causes.

    So we can expect everyone who is poor to attack children and then kill innocent people just because they are not toffs like Cameron?

    This posting was an insult to the millions of people who are poorer than Moat but are not wannabe gangsters and do not resort to criminal activity to get what they want

    The whole "blame society not the criminal" attitude is what is so wrong with the country.

    the self pitying "its not my fault" attitude of people who cannot accept responsibility for what they do and believe that society made them criminals whilst the majority get by, and the belief that they are entitled just because they are alive is why they never get anywhere in life and just become bitter and blame everyone bar themselves

  • Comment number 58.

    I can see a bit of both sides here. Of course, Raoul Moat 'got what was coming to him'. What the PM is missing however is how much sympathy there is with people who are mistreated by the Police. I don't think there would be many people who have sympathy with someone on the rampage with guns. But lots of people have come into contact with the Police and been badly treated, just because they are Police and they think they can do as they wish. I would consider myself to be very law abiding, I don't even break speed limits. But I would be loathed to rely on the Police for anything and would say they are surly and arrogant when dealing with the public. If someone like me can have this opinion of them, it is no wonder that those that have some sort of regular contact with the police, question their motives and their modes of working. And the mode of working tends to be, act first and then cover it up later if it doesn't pan out.

  • Comment number 59.

    Yes, sympathy is misguided. Although it might be because of the way the police manipulated him through the media. Remember one initial statement by the police which thanked the media for their co operation. One report which seemed to bypass the police was concerning a letter telling the public of his reasons and intended actions - the public at large need not fear him. A day or so later another letter apparently reversed this to seemingly put the public in danger - or more likely to flush him out. Then comes the finale and a picture in the news of a group of highly strung fireams officers, one in particular holding a tazer and snarling towards the lens of the camera. Later we are told he took his own life, followed by the report that two tazers had been used and that at this stage it's difficult to tell wether they were used before or after he took his own life - why use them if he has immobilised himself?. And the BBC itself interviewed a firearms specialist who stated on camera that they would not use tazers in this situation for obvious reasons.... There's a whole bunch of reasons why perhaps the public empathise with him, it's not their fault - it's the way the police and media have played it out.

  • Comment number 60.

    Although any soul in enough pain to committ suicide is sad, we must bear in mind:
    a/ how this would have been viewed in a less tolerant society
    b/ his criminal background (not in prison for shoplifting!)
    c/ his victims have received less coverage than he has before & after tragic events
    d/ those he has left behind - including the mother of his children who were meant to be orphans via his cowardly acts
    e/ the media circus which we all subscribe to via keeping on the breakfast news & newspapers.

  • Comment number 61.

    I completely agree with David Cameron.

    And to all the comments that say David Cameron should in no way tell the British public what they should and should not feel, I think you're missing the point here.

    This is something David Cameron said during PMQ. It isn't a new law being passed through parliment, it's not a decree from the PM with the expectation that everyone should agree with him.

    It's his opinion. He has every right to voice his opinions.

    It's interesting, people are very quick to criticise DC when celebrities across the board constantly tell us to act in ways and manners that they deem important.

    Free speach works both ways. You can't say he has no right to voice his opinion and at the same time say he has no right to remove a facebook page. These case-in-points actually are mutually exclusive.

    And no, I'm not a Tory.

  • Comment number 62.

    "Poor man"?
    "Found himself in a dark place"?
    What utter claptrap. He was a cold, callous murderer.
    This is not manslaughter, not an accident, not a crime of passion. He decided to kill people, announced as much, then did it.
    Who are we going to say, "Ah, poor man." to next? Hitler?
    I mean, just where does sympathy end and holocaust denial begin?

  • Comment number 63.

    Do these people have sympathy for Derek Bird too, I see no difference only in the numbers killed.

    Man rampages with gun after feeling wronged kills 12 or 1 it is terrible.

    It is not sympathy that should be the emotion but sadness at such pathetic actions and a wasted life.

    The brave and kind policeman who was shot has my sympathy and admiration he should have a hero page on facebook.

  • Comment number 64.

    That Moat was constrained for motive well beyond any normal reason or understanding to do what he did and act (before these events) as he did is something to pity.
    Such pity does not condone the action at all and we really need to look at Social values on a much wider scale if we are going to stand any chance of addressing such awful events.
    Aggression & violence in all media is taken as the norm. They are widespread across all areas of society. The media always trot the same mantra we only reflect not lead social value, well it doesn't wash!
    It may be a reflection on ever increasing population (rats fight like the devil if all penned up together) together with other silly liberal social values. What will things be like when we reach the magical 78 million in 2050. Perhaps instead of lecturing Mr Cameron should urgently address some of the wider causes of such behaviour rather than the symptoms. Considering Moats attitude to the Police was it wise & necessary to protect the wider public to take such a head on confrontational approach evident to all for a week?

  • Comment number 65.

    Facebook, Myspace and texting, three "advances" in technology specifically designed for lowlife to torment each other with.

  • Comment number 66.

    Seems a sad day to me when we put flowers down for a person who murdered a fellow human being and seriously wounded two others, in cold blood, to satisfy his own revenge. Many people have suffered disturbed childhoods as this man was supposed to have done. But they don't go around with a gun out to kill. For heavens sake don't blame the police, or post number 40 who says the liars and criminals in the house of commons should not preach morality to us. Actually, that post is quite disturbing in itself.
    It is the victims and their families who need our flowers and thoughts.

  • Comment number 67.

    Cameron is spot on, the man was a murderer and those who have left flowers and have sympathy with this criminal should all be locked away.

  • Comment number 68.

    It is the media coverage that is partly to blame for this "Hero Worship". The media decided that this idiot (Moat) could be the star of the 24hr news channel version of The Truman Show with a little Logan's Run chucked in for good effect. I found the news coverage of the last hours of Moats life immoral and was portrayed as entertainment and definitely not "In the Public Interest" I have plenty of sympathy for the families of the victims, and a tinge of sadness for Moat but this phenomena is reflective of a society in which an immoral media feed rubbish to a uneducated underclass that has no respect for society. The Media should look at themselves very carefully on this one and reflect on the phenomena they have created.

  • Comment number 69.

    Any attention I might have paid to a politician telling me who I should & should not feel compassion for went out of the window in the 1960s and 1970s when successive governments and prime ministers [of both parties] publicly stated that Nelson Mandela should die in prison.

    I'm really looking forward to being asked how I can compare Nelson Mandela to Raoul Moat, by the way. Bring it on.

  • Comment number 70.

    My sympathies are with the people that Raoul Moat shot. The people that knew Raoul Moat well, that is, his friends and family, have every right to sympathise with him. Clearly, he was a man with some very troubled thoughts, and God only knows what was going on in that man's head, but I can't believe that there are others out there, mainly those in the anti-police camp, who are glamorising his death and hailing him as some sort of modern-day hero, almost martyring him. The media also needs to accept some responsibility for their coverage of the events of last week; in some ways, the story had been sensationalised beyond belief.

  • Comment number 71.

    While I do not condone or accept what the man did, anyone who is driven to or falls to the levels that he commits such acts has to be sympathised with- atleast in part.
    As for David Cameron telling whom we may or may not feel sorry for? He already controls the majority of our lives so I am sure he thinks has the right to act like the 'thought police', but he does not.
    Another reason why this man is ill prepared to run the country.

  • Comment number 72.

    There should be no respsect or sympathy for a man who, straight out of prison, goes on the rampage with a gun. He brought his own life to an end the moment he decided to do that and then"delcare war on the Police"

    The respect should be shown to the Police who had to deal with the situation yet again in the media spotlight for 24 hours a day for 7 days. Yet again the media have turned on the Police saying it was their fault Moat died...how that train of thought has come about I have no idea. No one else was holding a gun to his head.

    The blame culture in this country is ridiculous, he brought it on himself, simple as that.

  • Comment number 73.

    I may be mistaken but Raoul Moat has never been found guilty of murder in a law court.
    It may only be a petty thing in some peoples eyes but I think we should be very careful when labelling people. I've no doubt personally that the man was a murderer but it hasn't been proven.

  • Comment number 74.

    This is the sort of society we have inherited now the children of the Thatcher years have bred and spread their hate, where the only heroes are reality star and murderers.

  • Comment number 75.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 76.

    David Cameron called him a callous murderer and spoke of his crimes, while I understand theres little doubt he did these terrible things surely he should be convicted or/and found guilty by some sort of investigation before public officials can make statements implying his guilt.

    The law applys the same to everyone even people accused of murder, Cameron should keep his mouth shut on this subject or at least speak responsibly and fairly.

    A terrible situation and one in which everyone should be left to grieve. Cameron trying to score political points with this doesn’t help anyone.

  • Comment number 77.

    David Cameron et al trying hard to regain the tories "nasty party" tag.
    People's responses are their own business, nothing to do with the prime minister, just who does he think he is!

  • Comment number 78.

    From what I've read, Raoul Moat seemed to be a very disturbed individual at odds with society. He blamed everybody but himself for his own inadequacies and came across as a bully. My sympathies lie with his innocent victims, he obviously intended to take his own life in the glare of publicity. People are entitled to leave tributes to him, seeing in him their own anger at the "system", maybe they should look at themselves and ask why they hero worship a thug who cared nothing for his victims. As for blaming the media, we are not talking morals here, they are there to report the news and unfortunately, this killer was newsworthy.

  • Comment number 79.

    Raoul Moat was obviously a troubled man, the prison staff even highlighted this before he left prison. However, taking your own life, or that of another, is very different and however troubled you are you do not go round killing and harming others. For this he should not be sympathised with. The media, and now the public it would seem are glorifying and condoning murder explaining it away because he was troubled. This is not an excuse for murder.

  • Comment number 80.

    The PM is definitely correct on this. How could we sympathise a murderer? And that facebook page is not only about paying sympathy to Moat, but is paying tribute to him, saying what he has done is a natural response, and anti-police. What sort of morality is that?

    Sympathy be to all victims.

  • Comment number 81.

    Whatever he had done he was a human being and should have been treated as such. The whole manhunt was a fiasco, many of the police there were out of their depth. The one image I'll remember was on the last day, four cops bunched together, one holding a tazer with a snarl on his face, If I'd been his commanding officer I would have sent him back to base, obviously overcome by the occasion and not fit for purpose. Why don't the police admit they fired their tazers first. If he had shot himself first, there would have been no need to fire the tazers, think about it. The thing that came to my mind during the fiasco was, how many off licenses, garages in that seven day period were robbed by force and how many people were mugged at knife-point. You don't see manhunts for those everyday occurrences, why the big show for one man, even the RAF involved. I'm sure police forces throughout the world were having a good laugh at that bunch of incompetents. I think the police do a fine job normally, but something just didn't seem right with that fiasco. Wasn't that the police force that went after the ripper, if it was nothing has changed. One thought to close with, if Mr Moat had really wanted to kill himself he would have done it as soon as he was cornered, that bunch of incompetents made him suffer.

  • Comment number 82.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.

    I regret Moat's death, but only because he will not have opportunity to reflect on his actions, and repent of them.

  • Comment number 84.

    Blimey, I never thought a politician would actually be brave enough to support the victims rather than the perpetrator.
    Well done Cameron, you have said waht I hope the vast majority think. Moat deserves no sympathy at all.
    Anyone making him out to be some sort of victim himself, be it individuals or what the press might portray, gets nothing but my contempt. His past speaks for itself, I believe he was a dangerous person who knew exactly what he was doing not someone suffering from some mental problem requiring sympathy.
    To post No.39, perhaps the police were trying to ensure something like the tragedy in Cumbria could not occur again and to post no. 40..You sad person.

  • Comment number 85.

    The facebook group seems to say more about the sort of person who joins it rather than Raoul Moat.

  • Comment number 86.

    I don't think there should be any sympathy for Mr. Moat.

    However I do think that the police went completely over the top in their hunt for him. Deploying automatic weapons and what were described as "Armoured vehicles" against one man with a shotgun just makes the police look like they are "Playing with their toys". There are numerous shooting incidents and murders all over the UK that do not spark this kind of response. What was so different about this situation ? This is an example of how the police love to run amok with their guns , helicopters and road blocks when a little bit of unglamorous detective work would have been far more effective. I dread to think how much this "Operation" has cost the tax payer.

  • Comment number 87.

    David Cameron seems to mistaken 'hero worship' for sympathy. Of course, the condemnation of those idolising Moat's actions is acceptable but that is not sympathy. I for one, feel very sorry for his family and that a man had got to the stage where he felt was so worthless- especially considering he had a daughter. Moreover, there are still a family grieving a man who, whatever he had done, they loved.
    I find Camerons to be both insensitive to a very delicate issue, and insulting- to those of us who are intelligent enough to understand that sympathy is not restricted to one party, and that you can have sympathy for someone without condoning their actions.

  • Comment number 88.

    "
    33. At 4:41pm on 14 Jul 2010, Albert wrote:

    Nobody is all good or all bad. What he did, obviously while less than 100% sane, was terrible. But for all that he was a human being who has died a violent, albeit self-inflicted, death.
    "

    And good reddens too. Lefties like you make me sick.

  • Comment number 89.

    Cameron of the Thought Police?
    Epic fail!

  • Comment number 90.

    i think the people of rothbury have put up with enough.i have family in the village and it is time the children got back to a normal life and that cannot happen as long a some misguided people continue to lay flowers on the riverside.Laying flowers will not change anything,He's a murderer and he's dead and those children are innocent and need to get on with their lives

  • Comment number 91.

    What unbelievably moronic behaviour, to treat this man like some kind of hero! He was a cold-blooded murderer and whether he had mental problems is neither here nor there.

    I very much blame the media for whipping the more brainless members of the public up into a frenzy about it.

    And how ironic that although one witness reported Moat as saying he had no family and nobody who cared about him, now that there is some advantage to his family in admitting their relationship i.e. publicity, they are all crawling out of the woodword to cry over him for their 5 minutes of infamy.

    What a sad state the British have come to!

  • Comment number 92.

    I wonder what would we be discussing, had Moat shot a police officer or a civilian before he killed himself. We are rapidly becoming nation of moaners.

    No no, I correct myself...I blame 24 hrs news media - picking up topics for discussions just to fill in the time - that includes BBC Radio 5 as well.
    I guess we will have yet another inquiry, costing millions of pounds of tax payers money. I can see the conclusion of such inquiry - telling us that with benefit of hind sight, the Police were right afterall.
    I am sure some lawers and Liberty are helping relatives to what they cab squeeze from the State.

    We are so lucky to have police force which is so patient. Had this incident ocurred outside UK, Moat would have been give 20 mins to surrender or get a bullet in the head.

    I think all those people who support Moat shoud be sent to Afghanistan for 2 weeks break - in Hallmand Province!

  • Comment number 93.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 94.

    The people, as gullible as they may be, have a right to sympathise with whoever they want. I don't believe the facebook page should be taken down because we don't live in a police state but a more or less democratic country.
    However I find it disturbing that people would show their sympathy to a man who's no better than any other murderer. It's like showing sympathy to Charles Manson.

  • Comment number 95.

    "
    16. At 4:27pm on 14 Jul 2010, alan_jackson wrote:
    "

    Here, here. Well said.

  • Comment number 96.

    Although he killed and severely damaged others, the press didn't focus on that enough and too much on him. They showed him like he was an adventurer, hiding and running from his prey. By the end of it i think most people would of wanted him to be caught alive. The sympathy would be for the incident of him getting shot. The possibility of him being tazered and then the reaction of that making him shoot himself. why he was tazered, no one knows...

  • Comment number 97.

    I thought the idea of a democracy was that society could feel and express opinions as determined by their own conscience, not as dictated by the countries leader. So now the PM has the power to tell us what to think and feel.
    I don't feel sympathy for Moat but I'm not so shallow that I expect everyone to share my views.

  • Comment number 98.

    I'm amazed by the number of pro-criminal "people" making comments here. Sign of the times I guess.

  • Comment number 99.

    I am in complete agreement with David Cameron on this. The man was a psychotic killer who attempted to murder 3 people. He was a coward. How anyone can be sympathetic to this individual is beyond me. Regardless of his personal problems, drug taking, upbringing etc etc, Moat knew precisely what he was doing. It's time we stopped all this anti-establishment nonsense. Moat was NOT some kind of rebel hero badly done to by life! MY sympathy is with his victims and their families and so should the rest of this once great nations! Get a grip people Moat gave himself the justice he deserved, and he knew it!

  • Comment number 100.

    This is just an example of the conservative mindset, refusing to understand and show consideration for the causes of crime as well as sympathise with its victims. The key is in prevention, not condemnation.

    And to try to remove any public expression on the matter, regardless of what is said, is stepping far over the line for any government.

 

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