Police release CCTV footage of 12-year-old Tia Sharp missing in Croydon since Friday afternoon

Missing schoolgirl Tia Sharp. Pic: Met Police

Police and family of missing 12-year-old Tia Sharp have renewed their plea for information that may help find her.

David Sharp, Tia’s uncle, sent a message to Tia: “Please come home. You are not in trouble; please call us or call the police. I would like to thank the police and the public – everyone is doing everything they can. Please don’t stop.”

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola released CCTV footage of Tia taken on August 2, the day before she was last seen. The image is of the missing girl at the Co-op store in Featherbed Lane, Addington, at around 4.30pm. The footage shows Tia wearing the same shirt and trousers she wore when she was last seen.

CCTV image of Tia. Pic: Met Police

The last sighting of Tia was in New Addington, Croydon on Friday afternoon. The young girl left her grandmother’s home around noon, saying she was going to the Whitgift Centre in Croydon town centre.

She is described as being white, of slim build, 4ft 5 inches tall and wearing glasses. She was not carrying her Oyster card or mobile phone at the time of her disappearance.

According to the family, it is out of character for Tia to go missing and there are serious concerns for her welfare. It is understood that police have been searching a wood about one mile from where Tia was last seen. Police officers brought to London to work on the Olympics have also been searching for the missing girl. Meanwhile, the Sun newspaper has offered a £25,000 reward for any information that helps police find Tia.

Scola said that they had received some reported sightings: “We have had a good response to our appeals. We have had some 55 reported sightings of Tia, although none of these have been substantiated. Searches are continuing at Tia’s grandmother’s address. CCTV is being collated and viewing continues.”

Public response to the young girls’ disappearance has been extensive. Local residents took to the streets to help search for the girl on Saturday evening, with around 200 people showing their support for her family.

A Twitter campaign, started by friends and family of the girl, has received support from Stephen Fry, Gary Lineker, EL James and thousands more as they retweeted appeals for information.

Celebrities have also joined in the campaign to find the girl, with musician Lisa Maffia and local organisations such as the Crystal Palace Football Club tweeting details of the search.

Facebook group has been set up and currently has over 9,000 members, many of whom are helping with the search and offering support. They have distributed over 45,000 posters and fliers of the missing girl.

Anyone who has seen Tia or knows of her whereabouts should call Merton Police on 101 (quoting reference 12MIS025216); or Missing People on 116 000.

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