UK & World News
Violent Armed Robber Absconds From Prison
A violent armed robber serving a life sentence has absconded from Kirkham open prison in Lancashire.
Wayne Whitley is described as a black man, aged 40, of slim athletic build. It is unknown what he was wearing when he left prison.
Greater Manchester Police have appealed for information about his whereabouts. He has links to areas across Greater Manchester.
Whitley's disappearance was announced just hours after official figures were released showing 225 inmates escaped or absconded from prison in England and Wales last year.
It was an increase of 21 on the previous year. A total of 137 of the absconds were from open prisons, such as Kirkham, which have come under scrutiny following a series of high-profile walkouts.
Ninety inmates who have fled prison in the last decade were still at large at the end of last month, according to the figures. Another 79 have not returned after being granted temporary release since 2004.
Detective Inspector Robert Cousen, from GMP's Serious Crime Division, said Whitley escaped from custody on July 19.
"He is not to be approached by members of the public, but if anyone sees him or knows of his whereabouts, please contact GMP on 101 immediately.
"I would also urge Whitley to hand himself in at his nearest police station and to remind people that if anyone is found to be assisting or harbouring Whitley, they too will face being arrested and a possible prison sentence of their own."
More than 200 inmates have escaped or absconded from prisons in England and Wales in the last year, according to official figures released earlier on Thursday.
:: Anyone with information is asked to call Greater Manchester Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.