Megan Stammers: Arrest warrant issued for maths teacher

Megan Stammers and Jeremy Forrest
Image caption Sussex Police have released a CCTV image of Megan Stammers and Jeremy Forrest, taken on board a ferry from Dover to Calais at 21:30 BST on Thursday

A European arrest warrant has been issued for the maths teacher who travelled to France with missing teenager Megan Stammers.

Jeremy Forrest, 30, and the Eastbourne schoolgirl, 15, have not been seen since they crossed the Channel from Dover to France on 20 September.

Sussex Police are expected to release more details about the warrant during a press conference later.

Mr Forrest's father Jim is also due to appeal for his son to come home.

The pair's disappearance will be featured on the BBC Crimewatch programme, a week after they vanished.

Meanwhile, doubts have been raised about the search abroad after Interpol was unable to confirm its involvement.

Twitter appeals

Neither Megan nor Mr Forrest have a profile on the international crime agency's website.

Sussex Police had previously said it was working with Interpol and the French authorities on the case and it was possible the pair had now left France.

The force said it would clarify the nature of the European investigation at a briefing later.

The last sighting of the pair was from CCTV cameras on board a ferry at 21:30 BST last Thursday. It showed them arm-in-arm and hand-in-hand.

Image caption Megan and Jeremy Forrest are thought to be travelling in his black Ford Fiesta

Megan's friends and family have continued to appeal online and through social media for her to get in touch and for the public to help find her.

Her stepfather Martin Stammers, 43, tweeted on Thursday: "Please continue your efforts, if I could thank you all individually I would, your help is invaluable."

On Wednesday, singers from girl group The Saturdays also appealed on Twitter, urging Megan to contact her family.

Francesca Sandford, from the band, tweeted: "Megan, on behalf of myself, Mollie, Vanessa, Una and Roch, please come home or call your mum. Everyone is so worried about you! Lots of love x"

The appeals come amid fresh concerns about the child protection policies at the pair's school - Bishop Bell Church of England in Eastbourne.

Child protection campaigner and former teacher Lucy Duckworth has said she wrote to Education Secretary Michael Gove with serious concerns about its child safeguarding policies months ago.

Mr Gove's office said if alerted to a specific threat it would inform the relevant authority immediately.

In a separate case at Bishop Bell in 2009, PE teacher Robert Healy was jailed for seven years for starting a sexual relationship with two teenage pupils he groomed on social networking site Bebo.

In another case, a retired Church of England priest suspended from the Church following a Criminal Records Bureau check was allowed to remain as a governor, despite the school being aware of child sex allegations against him.

Canon Gordon Rideout, 73, was a governor at the school until November last year.

He has been charged with 38 offences over an 11-year period between 1962 and 1973 and is due to stand trial at Lewes Crown Court on 19 October.

Crimewatch will be aired on BBC One at 21:00.

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