Raoul Moat…2010, his frenzy left his ex girlfriend seriously wounded, her boyfriend dead and a policeman disabled ( he later took his own life) all within a week of being released from a light sentence for assaulting his 9 year old child.

This reenactment on ITV this weekend invokes mixed feelings.

There’s the confusion those who celebrated and continue to celebrate this man invoke. Their parlay is that he is a hero because he announced his intention was to execute police officers ( he indicated he had chosen to kill because he thought his ex girlfriend was dating a policeman).

Then there’s the reopening and reawakening of old wounds and trauma for the family of Samantha Stobbart – his ex girlfriend, Chris Brown’s family – Chris was Raoul’s his first target and he was executed in cold blood and PC David Rathband was an opportunistic tager who was disabled after being shot point blank by Moat ( Rathband commited suicide 20 months later)

But there’s a value to this re-enactment.

It reawakens the realities of domestic abuse, violence against women and girls and the sticky, worrying issue of public vilification for those who choose to do the work of policing . It also revisits and in my view emphasises the need for quick, effective communication and information systems including relevant processes in the criminal justice system.

Had the risks this young man presented been considered and acted upon while he was in prison, early release wouldn’t have been an option for him and if it was, mechanisms could have been instituted to prevent his rampage.

In 2010
The UK domestic abuse act was still quite rudimentary and domestic abuse and there was no legislation in place covering children, coercive control and abuse such as emotional harm, financial/economic control, and reproductive control ( a type of abuse in which someone else controls your reproductive choices, such as deciding whether you can use contraception, choose to become pregnant, or continue with a pregnancy) , revenge pornography, use of technology in abuse and much more.

Domestic abuse came with a fine not exceeding forty eight currency points and/or imprisonment not exceeding two years

Despite impact of varied and numerous domestic abuse cases before and after involving homicide, It took until 2021 for the domestic abuse act in the UK to be amended/renewed with a more improved definition of victimhood and typology, this included enhancing sentencing to take aggravating factors, history, intent and victim impact into consideration.

Today, there is still much to do to constrain movement of perpetrators who present risk by imposing electronic tagging, ensure victims are duly informed and safeguarded post release of perpetrators and even more to be done to encourage reporting from victims, achieve charging and sentencing of perpetrators. The same applies to achieving success with reporting honor crimes, killings, harassment and cyber enabled domestic abuse.

There’s still much to do to improve the communication mechanisms between all parts of the criminal justice system and so much more in the era of economisation to achieve social justice and justice that serves victims and the public.

This reenactment keeps these issues on the radar, maintains societal pressures on lawmakers to keep enhancing legislation, confronts politicians with the realities of false economy on all areas of social jusice and reduces the risk of another situation like Damien Bendall who brutally murdered his pregnant ex partner , her two children and a family friends child with a claw hammer in 2021 and Jordan McSweeney who attacked and killed court worker and law graduate Zara Aleena is 2022.

I have not enjoyed watching the reenactment and I just finished part 3. It has left me feeling sick to my stomach especially after reading backwards over various social media generated views on the series.
I was too affected to think of who is or was to blame because nobody won in the case of Raoul Moat. Its awful to remember the terror waged on ordinary citizens while Moat was hunted and knowing it ended with him turning his gun on himself when it didn’t need to end like that for him or anyone affected….awful but necessary to remember.

I also feel like I have a strangely diverging view of everything too. On one hand how far and how much still needs to change and then thinking of Africa and how behind our countries are with regard to social justice…. And how far behind we are with domestic abuse and awareness of crime including policing capacity in this new age where crime is being constructed and reconstructed at a rapid pace given ease of access to technologies and innovation.

Today ends with a brief moment of thankfulness for those who have managed to be brave enough to spot and stop domestic abuse in its tracks, for the men and women who muster the courage to run and survive running from domestic abuse and for who could choose anything but instead choose to face risks, danger and dynamic uncertainty out there 24/7 policing the streets knowing there is always a likelihood citizens see them as common targets like they are clay pigeons.
Then again, I feel sadness, based on all that I have read and seen; and knowing I’m not really in the school of couch positing and all that waffle faffle, it looks like all that lad needed to do was accept the end of his relationship, but instead in that moment where he felt sure he owned his ex girlfriend and believed the police were responsible for his delinquency and consequential losses… he killed, maimed, lost all reason; and in the end all hope and took his own life.
Nobody won, in fact it wasn’t even a contest and that is probably one of the other societal issues we have today. Lots of delinquents think they’re in a war or contest with their victims, society and the police. It rarely ends well.