A convicted sex offender has escaped from preventive detention in the Meppen prison. The man escaped during an escorted exit on Thursday afternoon, the police said in the evening.

It was said that there were indications that the fugitive could be in the neighboring district of Leer. The search has so far been unsuccessful.

Anyone who meets the person they are looking for should keep their distance from him and call emergency services, they said. The fugitive is 1.72 meters tall, has a mottled gray mustache and thinning gray-blond hair. The man was wearing a red short-sleeved shirt and blue jeans at the time of his disappearance.

On the one hand, preventive detention generally aims to protect the general public from further serious crimes committed by the convicted person. On the other hand, those held in preventive detention should be able to lead a socially responsible life without committing crimes in the future. In the state of Lower Saxony, the Meppen and Rosdorf correctional facilities are responsible for enforcing preventive detention.