Police warn public not to approach “dangerous” paranoid schizophrenic absconder

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 whilst on escorted leave from a secure unit in Hackney.

Paranoid schizophrenic Safdar Shah was last seen at around 11.30am this morning at a post office in Homerton High Street.

He was seen running along Fenn Street after he escaped during a period of escorted leave from the secure mental health unit in Kenworthy Road.

Scotland Yard said in a statement that Shah suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and requires daily medication to control the condition, and his current whereabouts are unknown.

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.

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

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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.

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

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.