Former soldier Khalife, who according to reports is accused of gathering information for Iran, went missing in his cook’s uniform from HMP Wandsworth on Wednesday, prompting extra security checks at major transport hubs. Strapping was found on the underside of a Bidfood delivery vehicle which police stopped just over an hour after it left the prison, with officers suggesting Khalife held on to the underside of the lorry to escape.
In the early hours of this morning, photos emerged showing police guarding the park’s entrances and exits. And there are multiple reports on social media that National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopters are circling the huge public park – which is just two miles south of where the van believed to have carried Khalife out of HMP Wandsworth was stopped by police.
The flat in Kingston where Khalife reportedly grew up is close to the edge of the park. And one national newspaper reports “a source” confirmed the police activity around Richmond Park was linked to the ongoing hunt for Khalife.
On X, the platform previously called twitter, @ninjawingman said: “Huge Police presence in Richmond Park atm. NPAS been up for a couple of hours now. Searching for Daniel in the Park. Lots of carriers and unmarked surrounding the area. Defo closing in on him.”
Also on X, Chloe Dobbs wrote: “Lots of helicopters and police vans above and around Richmond Park right now. Searching in the dark. Think they are hunting for the escaped terrorist from Wandsworth Prison in there. The van he escaped on was intercepted quite close to the park entrance.”
One onlooker told The Sun: “There are so many police involved. It’s a huge operation – they must have a good reason to think he might be in there.”
Helicopters were also reportedly seen circling the park yesterday morning. Yesterday afternoon (Thursday, September 7) Michelle Brikby tweeted: “The helicopters were all over Richmond Park this morning and all over Bushy Park now – plenty of woodland and bushes to hide in around this area, but they’re all very well used – he’s not going to find a private spot to hide in in Bushy Park on a day like today.”
There has been speculation on social media that Richmond Park would make a good place for a fugitive to hide – especially for one with military training.
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