An armed robber from New Addington who failed to return to prison yesterday after being out on day release is wanted by police.

Malcolm Parker is not considered to be a direct threat to the public, but people are advised not to approach him.

He left Blantyre House prison in Goudhurst, Kent, at 8am yesterday morning for a home visit and was due to return at 5.30pm but did not turn up.

Parker is described as black, 6ft 1in tall, of medium build and balding.

He has a distinctive scar on his left elbow which is between one and two inches in size.

The 55-year-old was jailed for life in August 2005 after pleading guilty to a string of armed robberies on a chain of bookmakers.

He targeted eight Ladbrokes betting shops across the south-east over a nine-month period.

Croydon Guardian: Call 999 if you see Malcolm Parker

At the time of his sentencing the judge recommended he serve a minimum of 20 years in prison.

Kingston Crown Court heard Parker carried out raids in London, Surrey and in Oxford between September 2003 and June 2004.

He was arrested hours after targeting a Ladbrokes betting shop in Headington, Oxford, on June 21, 2004, after an operation by the Metropolitan Police's flying squad.

His former address is Pixton Way and he is known to have associates in the Croydon and Hendon areas.

Anyone who sees him should contact police immediately on 999. If you have information about his whereabouts you should call the police on 020 8358 1752, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.