Tia Sharp: Police renew appeal for missing Croydon girl

Tia Sharp Tia Sharp had set off to visit a shopping centre

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Fears are growing for a girl who went missing after leaving her grandmother's south London home.

Tia Sharp, 12, left the house in New Addington to head for the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon on Friday afternoon.

She had about £10 but was not wearing a coat and was not carrying her phone or travel card.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said police were "very concerned" about Tia's welfare.

Police, who say her disappearance is out of character, have also searched woodland near her home.

No CCTV footage has been found to show she reached central Croydon.

Tia was last seen wearing a yellow bandeau top, skinny grey jeans and black and pink Nike high top trainers.

Family 'very distressed'

She is known to frequent the Croydon, Mitcham and Wimbledon areas of south London.

Mr Hogan-Howe said: "We are very concerned about this girl's welfare.

"She is 12 years old and she has now been missing for a couple of days.

"I would like to make an appeal to anyone who knows her, knows where she is, to tell us right away.

"First of all we want to make sure she is safe and secondly we just need to find where she is."

Det Ch Insp Nick Scola: "We have received a number of purported sightings but none are confirmed"

On Sunday Det Ch Insp Nick Scola, from the Met's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: "I was with her family this afternoon and they are clearly very distressed."

He added: "There is no suggestion she left in a hurry at the moment.

"We understand her Zip (child's Oyster Card for public transport) was lost some time ago, her mobile phone was left at home charging.

"She just said she was going shopping."

He said Tia was not known to have a boyfriend and there were no signs she was having any trouble at school.

On Sunday Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, also urged local people to look out for Tia.

He said: "The police are looking for her and the community are trying to help find her.

"I'm the father of young children myself so I want to help. I'd urge anyone with information to get in touch with the police."

Appeals for information have also been flooding on to Twitter. Celebrities such as former So Solid Crew member Lisa Maffia have re-posted appeals for information.

Jasmine Hart tweeted on Saturday: "Hey guys I really need your help! My 12-year-old niece called Tia Sharp has been missing for over 24 hours."

She updated her page with new pictures on Sunday and added: "It's been over 50 hours now."

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