HAMPSHIRE Constabulary has issued an update in its search for missing diplomat Richard Morris – appealing for residents in the Bentley area to check outbuildings and sheds.

A spokesman for the force said: "Further to our appeal regarding missing Richard Morris from Bentley, the search for Richard is ongoing.

"We are now asking residents in the surrounding areas if they could assist by checking sheds, outbuildings and gardens. We would also love to hear from any residents or businesses with CCTV that could help our enquiries.

"The 52-year-old went missing from the Bentley area at 10.30am on 6 May.

"It is believed that Richard, who is described as being white with greying hair and a beard and a distinctive birth mark on his face, was running in the local area when he went missing.

"He was last seen wearing a blue long sleeved top with a half zip, black shorts, and blue trainers.

"We would also very much like to thank the public for their response to this appeal, including volunteers from Hampshire Search and Rescue who have assisted us in our search for Richard.

"We would like to reassure people that we have professional search teams conducting a thorough search of local areas and would respectfully ask members of the public not to attempt to look for Richard, outside of your own property, themselves.

"This is so teams can accurately monitor all areas that have been police searched to a professional standard and so potential tracking can be conducted by search dogs.

"We again appeal for anyone with information and also ask residents to check their outbuildings for any signs that someone might have been sheltering there or for discarded items.

"If you can help please get in touch by phoning 101 and quote the reference 44200160398."

Mr Morris, a member of Alice Holt Parkrun, has held a number of high profile positions in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and is set to begin his new role as British High Commissioner to the Republic of Fiji in July 2020.

He was previously appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Nepal from November 2015, six months after the devastating earthquake that claimed some 9,000 lives, to November 2019.

During his time in Nepal, Mr Morris was pictured alongside Prince Harry and interviewed by The Daily Telegraph, and has also appeared in and on various media, including CNN International, ITN International and BBC World.

He was born on November 1, 1967 in Worcestershire. He married Alison in 1992 and they have one daughter and two sons. In his spare time, he enjoys long-distance running, reading, travel, music and spending time with his family.

An FCO spokesperson said: “Richard is a much valued and well liked colleague. We are extremely worried that he is missing and we all hope he will be found safe and well soon.”