A CRIMINAL who has done time for rape and a series of robberies is on the run from police.

Robert Stevens, 62, could be in Somerset, where he is known to frequently visit bookies, homeless charities and church-based groups.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said he is wanted on recall to prison.

He is known to travel widely across the UK and is known in the Avon and Somerset, Devon, Dorset and Hampshire areas.

The spokesman said: "He frequently visits betting shops, homeless charities and church-based support groups for the homeless.

"Robert Stevens, who also uses the surname Melias, will travel on buses but often travels about on foot.

"He was convicted of rape in Shirehampton in 1998 and in 2011 was also convicted of a series of knifepoint commercial robberies at shops and bookmakers."

Stevens is described as a white man, about 5ft 6ins tall, with grey/brown hair.

He also has tattoos – a panther on his left arm and the names 'City' on his left hand and 'Bob' on his right hand.

Anyone spotting Robert Stevens or who has any information on his whereabouts should call 999 quoting Avon and Somerset Police reference 5217039469.