POLICE are hunting a man they describe as “dangerous” who escaped from police custody during a visit to hospital.

North Yorkshire Police are appealing for information on Mark Anthony Ainsley, 27, who was arrested at about 8pm on Wednesday, May 17 but managed to escape from custody during a visit to York District Hospital the following day, at 3.35am.

Officers say he is “considered to be dangerous” but say the “the safety of the wider public has been the main priority throughout”.

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A spokesman said: “The safety of the wider public has been the main priority throughout and the local community should be reassured that any potential risks have been, and continue to be, greatly minimised by the police action.”

Officers are now asking anyone who knows Ainsley and who has information on his whereabouts to contact them as a matter of urgency.

They say residents and other members of the public may have noticed a heightened police presence in the Clifton area of York while enquiries to local the man are taking place.

A spokesman added: “If you know his immediate whereabouts please call 999, all other information can provided by calling North Yorkshire Police on 101, selecting option 1, and speaking to the Force Control Room.

“Understandably, some people may not be able to provide information directly to police and therefore they are encouraged to contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 where they may be eligible for a reward.”