POLICE have today launched a hunt for violent criminal missing in Hampshire.

Officers issued an appeal for any information to help capture Paul Joseph Heppenstall.

They even issued a photograph of the 30-year-old, who they say has broken the conditions of his release from prison.

Police say they want to find and the arrest 30-year-old so he can be returned to custody and have urged the public not to approach him.

The last contact Heppenstall had with the authorities was in Hampshire on  July 28, 2012 shortly after his release from prison.

He was convicted of grievous bodily harm (GBH) and sentenced to five years in prison in May 2010 for attacking a member of the public on Eastern Road in Portsmouth in October 2009.

Detective Chief Inspector Ben Snuggs of Hampshire Constabulary's Public Protection Department said: "We have been following many lines of enquiry in our efforts to locate and arrest Paul Heppenstall and we are grateful to everyone who has helped officers with various leads regarding his whereabouts.

"We are now making a wider appeal to members of the public, particularly in Portsmouth, where our latest information suggests he can be found.”

Heppenstall is described as:

  • White
  •  5 ft 7 ins tall
  •  Medium build
  •  Ginger, receding hair, usually cut short
  •  Blue eyes

DCI Ben Snuggs added: “Mr Heppenstall has a history of violence for which he was imprisoned by the courts two years ago.

“Police are eager to return him to jail as he now continues to display a blatant disregard for the conditions of his release into the community.

"Our current information suggests Mr Heppenstall does not pose an immediate threat to any particular members of the public. He is not accused or suspected of any other crimes, apart from breaching his prison release licence.

“Nevertheless, due to his past behaviour, we would advise people against approaching him.

"Any sightings and information about his whereabouts or intentions should be reported to the police immediately by phoning 101 - or if it's an emergency – dial 999. Please remember that you can also give us information anonymously by phoning the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”