Police are hunting for two men with violent pasts who have escaped from a secure hospital unit.

Jason Bratton, 36, and Neil Emery, 46, had been detained under the Mental Health Act at Epsom Hospital.

The men absconded from the secure unit at the hospital at 10.45am on Wednesday and left without the medication they need to control their mental illnesses.

Detective Inspector Dan Voller, who is leading the investigation, said: "We are asking for the public's help in tracing these two men.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Neil Emery 

"Both men do have a history of violence and although there is no indication of any direct threat to the public, anyone who believes they have seen either of the two men are urged not to approach them but to phone police immediately."

DI Voller added: "Because we believe they have not taken their medication, the men may also be at risk of harming themselves. We are carrying out extensive searches for both men, but we need the public's help."

Officers believe the men do not have money or phones. They have not yet made contact with friends or family.

Mr Bratton, 5ft 2, is slim, with short black hair and a blue Celtic band tattoo on his upper arm. He wore grey jogging bottoms, a white T-shirt, a grey baseball cap and white trainers.

He is known to frequent Aldershot, Farnborough, Farnham and Southampton and regularly travels by train.

Mr Emery, 5ft 8, is stocky with short black greying hair, a scruffy beard and a tanned complexion. He wore a white T-shirt, three quarter length khaki trousers and boots. He has links to Woking and Richmond.

Both men were patients of Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Last month a mental health inpatient being treated by the same trust on the Epsom Hopital site managed to climb a high chimney before plunging to his death.

If you see the men call police on 101, or 999 in an emergency, quoting reference number P14183236.

Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.