Chilling CCTV footage has emerged of a man hand-in-hand with a little girl amid reports of a “child abduction” in Brighton.
Sussex Police have released the images and are appealing for information.
The force believes members of the public could hold valuable information as they continue their enquiries.
The incident is developing and more details are emerging.
The appeal has been issued in connection with an incident in which “a man may have picked up a small child and walked off”.
The terrifying incident reportedly took place at the Churchill Square Shopping Centre in Brighton.
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).
“However there has been no reports of missing children and no trace of the possible suspect and the child on CCTV cameras.
“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.”
A helicopter has been deployed to aid the search.
The girl, thought to be aged between three and five, was wearing a pink jacket and jeans.
Taxi drivers in the area were sent an alert at around 4pm.
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.”
The cabbies reported a man aged between 70 to 75 may be involved.
The Sussex Police spokesperson also said: “Anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously at that time outside Churchill Square and Western Road area or has any information about this is asked to contact police by ringing 999 quoting serial 903 of 03/11.”
Source : BirminghamMail