Daniel Abed Khalife: No confirmed sightings of Wandsworth prison fugitive despite dozens of calls from public

There have been no confirmed sightings of fugitive Daniel Abed Khalife since he escaped Wandsworth prison despite the police receiving more than 50 calls from the public.

The 21-year-old former soldier was working in the kitchen and wearing a chef's uniform when he broke out of the Category B prison by holding on to straps underneath a food lorry to make his getaway.

Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command, said the Bidfood delivery vehicle was stopped by police an hour and five minutes after it left the prison around 2.6 miles away at the junction of Upper Richmond Road with Carlton Drive, near East Putney station.

Police have said it is possible the terror suspect has already left the country, but more than 150 counterterrorism officers and staff are focusing their search efforts in the Kingston and Staffordshire areas.

An image released by police of a Bidfood lorry, which officers believe Khalife used to escape, shows what appears to be straps at the back of the vehicle.

Khalife cannot be seen in the image, which was taken in Wandsworth, just a short drive from the prison.

Daniel Abed Khalife latest - Lack of prison staff a concern

Commander Murphy said more than 50 calls have been received from members of the public but there have been no "confirmed sightings" despite it being a busy area of London.

He described the situation as "a little unusual" and the escape was "perhaps a testament" to Khalife's "ingenuity" in fleeing the prison and his "movements after".

"We have some of the best military in the world here in the UK and he was a trained soldier," he said.

"So ultimately he has skills perhaps some sections of the public don't have.

"I am really keen that we are using everything in our means to find him."

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Police revealed details of the route taken by the van, which left Wandsworth prison at 7.32am on Wednesday before he was declared missing at 7.50am.

The Met was notified at 8.15am and stopped the van at 8.37am, by which time it was returning to the prison after the owner alerted the driver.

Officers found no trace of Khalife but discovered the strapping he used to cling on to the vehicle.

Commander Murphy described him as a "very resourceful individual" and said his escape "clearly" took some planning.

Officers are investigating whether he had any help. No arrests have been made.

Khalife, a former member of the Royal Signals who was based at Beacon Barracks in Stafford, was on remand awaiting trial accused of leaving fake bombs at a military base, a charge under the Terrorism Act and another under the Official Secrets Act.

His disappearance has prompted extra security checks at major UK airports and ports including Manchester, Gatwick, Heathrow and Dover.

'It is not a suitable prison'

The incident has also sparked a row about Wandsworth Prison - a Category B men's prison in southwest London - built in 1851.

The most recent report by His Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons (HMCIP) said it "remains one of the most overcrowded prisons in the country with most prisoners sharing a cell built for one".

Charlie Taylor, chief inspector of prisons, told Sky News he believed the prison should be shut down.

Speaking on the Politics Hub with Sophy Ridge programme, he said: "When you find a prison like Wandsworth, it really needs closing ultimately - it is not a suitable prison.

"In an ideal world one would, but of course you need jails because you need to service the courts."

Mr Taylor said there's a "crisis" in prisons at the moment and "there are only just enough prison places available".

He added: "Of course that puts a huge strain on the system, so in a huge jail like Wandsworth you are getting people in, you are getting them to court, you are getting them back from court and then as soon as they've been sentenced, they are being moved on to another jail as quickly as possible.

"And it is something about that churn that also adds to the general complications and sometimes what feels like chaos in some of those big local prisons like Wandsworth."