POLICE forces nationwide have been contacted as the search for a missing Benfleet man continues.

Derek Jarrett, 56, left a mental health unit in Bowers Gifford with a woman on Wednesday, April 30.

The woman was found in Bristol on May 2 and has since been returned to Essex but Mr Jarrett remains missing.

Police investigations around the Bristol area by the Metropolitan, Kent, Hertfordshire, Thames Valley and South Wales police forces continue, but the search has now widened to all UK forces.

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 find him urgently because there are concerns for his own safety and also because he is missing from a mental health unit. ”

Mr Jarrett is described as white, around 5ft 6ins tall, with 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.