‘Dangerous’ absconder was not tagged

Safdar Shah

Safdar Shah - Credit: Archant

Police have warned the public not to approach a “dangerous” absconder, who is the latest in a string of detainees to have gone missing from a secure mental health unit.

Safdar Shah in the post office

Safdar Shah in the post office - Credit: Archant

Paranoid schizophrenic Safdar Shah was last seen at around 11.30am on Monday morning at the post office in Homerton High Street, whilst on escorted leave from the John Howard Centre in Kenworthy Road.

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.

Scotland Yard said Shah suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, requiring daily medication to control the condition.

Safdar Shah in the post office

Safdar Shah in the post office - Credit: Archant

DI Paul Ridley, from Hackney CID, said: “Tracing Safdar Shah is an absolute priority for my officers and members of the public should not approach him.

“His has a history of violence and he has shown that he has the potential to become violent and could pose a threat if confronted.

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“If you see him please call police immediately on 999, so that officers can take appropriate action.”

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 the month.

“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.”

In November police offered a reward of £1,000 to anyone who could help trace prolific burglar Peter Kerrigan who has now been on the run for 10 months, since he security guards the slip whilst on escorted leave from the centre.

Shah is 5ft 7ins tall, with dark hair and a full beard, and when last seen he was wearing a grey hooded top, a dark coloured body warmer, blue jeans and dark coloured trainers.