THE police chief who led the operation to find gunman Raoul Moat has raised concerns that some see the murderer as a "hero."

Speaking to the BBC as the 10th anniversary of his death approaches, Sue Smith was critical of those who admire the gunman amid reports some intend to mark the anniversary of his death.

The former Chief Constable of Northumbria Police told Radio 5 Live: "I don't feel empathy for somebody who sadistically gunned down and killed one individual and seriously harmed two others.

"One of the things that does still concern me to this day is the number of people who still see Raoul Moat as a hero.

"For people to put him on a pedestal as a hero, I'm sorry - Dave Rathband was a hero, Raoul Moat wasn't a hero."

After being released from prison ten years ago, Moat targeted his former girlfriend and her new partner, killing Chris Brown and leaving Samantha Stobbart with life-threatening injuries.

He also shot PC David Rathband as he finished his shift in a marked patrol car, leaving him blind. PC Rathband took his own life in 2012.

Moat then led police on the country's largest manhunt in 44 years.

Police searched for him in Tynedale, with armed officers surrounding remote outbuildings in Elsdon as the net tightened on the gunman.

In addition, a former partner of Moat was spirited away from her home in Prudhoe and placed under police protection.

He was eventually found in Rothbury where, after a stand-off, he turned the gun on himself.

The full interview with Sue Sim can be found at