Thursday 31 October 2013 Updated: 31/10 16:47
A MURDERER who absconded from HMP Hewell is believed to be in Alcester.
Alan John Giles, formerly from Quinton, went missing from the open part of the Tardebigge prison on Monday (October 28).
The 56-year-old was serving two life sentences - a total of 19 years - for the murder and kidnap of 16-year-old Quinton student Kevin Ricketts in 1995. He would have been eligible for parole next year.
Giles is believed to have disappeared between 6am and 11am on foot after prison officers noticed he was no longer in his cell following a second morning check.
He is white, 5ft 9ins tall and of proportionate build with short grey hair and blue eyes. He has a scar on the right of his forehead and another small one by his left eye, as well as tattoos of an eagle on his back and a swallow, shark and flower on his left arm.
On the day he went missing he was believed to be wearing a grey Rockport sweater, blue jeans and white Asics trainers.
Latest information has led detectives to increase police resources in Alcester and step up their man hunt in surrounding areas.
It is believed Giles could be sleeping rough, possibly in woodland, and Police are appealing to dog walkers, farmers and other people to look out for him.
Chf Insp Paul Judge from West Mercia Police said although they had no 'grave concerns' they were worried about his state of mind as he could be a risk to himself as they did not yet know the reasons behind his disappearance.
He added safety measures were in place to protect Kevin Ricketts' family members who live in the Midlands.
Mr Judge added he had made no contact with his own family in the West Midlands or friends who live in the area.
"Today I'm making a direct plea to the public for information to the whereabouts of Alan Giles," he said.
"I would also like to directly appeal to Alan Giles himself to hand himself in to the nearest police station or call 999.
"We would like to reassure the Alcester community and other people living nearby that there are a number of officers out and about in the area and we are doing all we can to get Alan Giles back in custody as soon as possible."
He added anyone who had seen him or may be helping him, or know of his whereabouts, should also come forward.
The public have been warned under no circumstances to approach Giles but instead dial 999.
As part of the investigation an incident room has been set up at Redditch Police Station where a team of
officers are working around the clock to find him. Officers from Warwickshire and West Midlands Police are also involved in the case.
Specialist search officers and dogs have also been deployed in the area.
A Prison Service spokesman said the incident was now a matter for the police and they were supporting them in their investigation.
"The number of absconds from open prisons in 2012/13 was the second lowest since records began, and all those located in open prisons have been rigorously risk assessed and deemed suitable for open conditions.
"For the vast majority of prisoners serving indeterminate sentences, which includes those on life sentences, transfer to open conditions follows a recommendation by the independent Parole Board.
"Anyone who does abscond will be returned to a closed prison and may face further criminal charges."
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