AWOL John Howard Centre detainee found

John Howard Centre in Hackney

John Howard Centre in Hackney - Credit: Archant

A “potentially violent and dangerous” mental patient who absconded whilst on escorted leave from a mental health unit was found three days after he escaped.

Paranoid schizophrenic Safdar Shah, was the latest in a string of detainees to have gone missing from the John Howard Centre in Kenworthy Road, and police warned he had his passport on him and may try to flee the country.

Last summer the John Howard Centre bowed to pressure and announced it would electronically tag detainees on escorted leave, after the third patient went missing in as many months.

But Shah, who was seeing running along Fenn Street after he escaped, was not tagged, before being found last week.

A spokesman for the John Howard Centre said the plan is to roll out the electronic tagging of detainees on escorted leave by the end of January.


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“From receiving the electronic monitors and setting them up to work within the service, we have had a pilot on four of the wards now for three months,” she said. The pilot had several glitches at the beginning due to the technology which we have now ironed out.”

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