Chilling CCTV shows man hand-in-hand with little girl after child ‘abducted’ from Brighton shopping centre

Sussex Police are appealing for information in connection with an incident in which "a man may have picked up a small child and walked off" at the Churchill Square Shopping Centre in Brighton.

A helicopter was scrambled to the scene to assist with the search – targeting a man in his 70s wearing a long green jacket.

Cops were also going from house to house in Brighton asking homeowners if they'd seen a child wearing a pink jacket between three and five years old.

A Sussex police spokesperson said: "Police are investigating a report of a possible child abduction outside Churchill Square, Brighton, between 3.30pm and 3.45pm on Monday (5 November).

"Officers have made a wide search of the area and the police helicopter is also searching, after we received a report that a man may have picked up a small child and walked off.

"Enquiries are also being made to establish whether the child was actually with their parents."

Police were seen searching cars leaving the Churchill Square Shopping Centre today after a little girl was reportedly 'abducted' by a man

Taxi drivers in the area were sent an alert at around 4pm saying that a man aged between 70 to 75 may be involved, instructing cabbies to call 999 with any information.

A spokesperson for Streamline Taxis told The Argus: "We were asked to put the message to our drivers.
"We haven't heard any more updates yet."

Superintendent James Collis of Sussex Police said: "From all our enquiries we think the man and child in [the CCTV] image may be the ones our original caller is referring to.

"Active enquiries are continuing but we are also considering the possibility that the man and child are family members or at least known to each other, and that the caller may have misinterpreted what they saw but was nevertheless acting in perfectly good faith.

"If you are that man, or a family member or friend who has information about this incident, please get in touch with us as soon as possible by ringing 101 quoting Operation Boxworth, so that we can meet you and confirm that all is well with you and the child.

"And if anyone else recognises these people we also ask them to call us right away."

Anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously outside Churchill Square and the Western Road area or has any information about this is asked to contact police by ringing 999 quoting serial 903 of 03/11.

More to follow…

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