Urgent search for family 'sleeping rough' in freezing temperatures

Police launch urgent search for family ‘sleeping rough’ in freezing temperatures after finding tent and travel cot in a park

  • The cot is believed to belong to an 18-month-old toddler in Brighton 

Police have launched an urgent search for a family believed to be sleeping rough in freezing temperatures after a tent and cot were found in a park.

The grey and white tent and a travel cot were found in Queen’s Park in Brighton, which police believe belong to a young man, woman and a toddler – around 18 months old.

Sussex police officers are concerned the family have no shelter as overnight temperatures in the city drop as low as 3C and the country experiences heavy rain, strong winds and flooding this week.

Asking the public for help finding the young family, the police described the woman as petite with blonde hair and the man – in his late teens or early twenties – as slim and being at least 6ft tall.

The group was last seen in Queen’s Park in the city on Wednesday December 6.

A travel cot believed to belong to an 18-month-old toddler was found in Queen’s Park

A grey and white tent was found alongside the cot, where police believe the family slept

The location of the tent and cot when they were found by police in Queen’s Park, Brighton

Police are ‘extremely keen’ to locate them so they can be given care and support.

The woman is described as being around 5ft tall with a northern accent.

A description of the young man said he was last seen wearing a black tracksuit and a scarf covering the bottom part of his face.

Officers said the toddler who was with them is believed to be a boy with ‘pale skin, blonde hair, and rosy cheeks’ last seen in a thick red snowsuit and dark blue or black wellington boots.

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The family also had a pushchair with them which was ‘overladen with baggage,’ police said.

Detective Superintendent Kris Ottery said: ‘Since receiving a report of concern for welfare from a member of the public, we’ve had dedicated teams of officers working to identify these people and trace them, so we can make sure they’re safe and well.

‘Specially trained officers have been searching the park and other areas of interest, with the assistance of drones and the National Police Air Service helicopter, completing house-to-house enquiries, liaising with local transport networks and carrying out CCTV trawls in the vicinity.

‘We have released photographs of the tent and cot as an appeal to any members of the public who may have seen these items in the area in the past couple of weeks. If you recognise these items or the descriptions provided, please contact us.

‘Our priority is ensuring the welfare of all three people, particularly given the recent adverse weather. We are conscious they may have moved on from the Queens Park area and may have sought shelter elsewhere in the Brighton area.

‘If you see anyone matching these descriptions, or if you have any other information that can help, please do get in touch.’

Anyone with information or a possible sighting is asked to call 999 quoting Operation Sorrel.

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