The Met Police have joined a nationwide search for a missing mental health patient.

Derek Jarrett, 56, left a mental health unit in Essex on  April 30 with a woman. She was found in Bristol on May 2 and has since been returned to Essex.

Initial police investigations around the Bristol area and enquiries by the Met, Kent, Hertfordshire, Thames Valley and South Wales police forces are continuing but an appeal for information has today widened to include all forces in the UK.

Det Insp Joel Henderson of Essex Police said: "We know that Mr Jarrett and the woman travelled to Bristol by coach between April 30 and May 2 but there have been no positive sightings of him since then. Given the lack of contact, he could be anywhere in the UK so we have issued media appeals through all forces.

"We want to hear from anyone who recognises Mr Jarrett from the photo and might remember seeing him over the past week or so. We want to find him urgently because there are concerns for his own safety and also because he is missing from a mental health unit. "

Derek Jarrett is white, about 5ft 6in tall, has grey hair and has several tattoos on his arms. He was caught on CCTV at a hotel in Bristol where he stayed at.

He should not be approached, and anyone who sees him is urged to call police immediately on 999.