Eighty officers in search for missing Croydon girl


Eighty police officers are involved in the search for missing 12-year-old Tia Sharp, six days after she disappeared.


By Helena Hickey

Eighty police officers are involved in the search for missing 12-year-old Tia Sharp, almost a week after she disappeared on her way to Croydon’s Whitgift shopping centre.

Tia left her grandmother’s home in New Addington, Croydon at around midday last Friday, and has not been seen since.

Area Commander Neil Basu said Olympic resources had been redirected to hep in the search for Tia, meaning more than 100 extra uniformed officers in the Croydon and Mitcham areas.

“There are over 80 officers working on this case, 40 of them detectives, 40 of them specialist search officers. I will make more available if necessary,” he said.

Following yesterday’s police questioning of Stuart Hazell, the partner of Tia’s grandmother, Mr Basu said the investigation was still a missing person’s inquiry and did not suggest there were any suspects in the case.

He also explained that 120 hours of CCTV footage had been viewed so far, but there had been no confirmed sightings of Tia.

Police helicopters and search dogs have also been brought in to assist with the investigation, checking open ground and premises including garages, lock-ups and wooded areas.

The local community has rallied together to help find Tia, with others travelling from as far as Wales to search woodland near Croydon Rugby Club on Tuesday night.

Police have received reports of about 60 possible sightings of the schoolgirl, although these are unconfirmed.

She was last seen dressed in a yellow bandeau top, skinny grey jeans and black and pink Nike high-top trainers.

Tia is white, 4ft 5in and slim, and was wearing French Connection glasses.

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

Anyone who has seen Tia or knows of her whereabouts should call Merton police on phone number 101, quoting reference 12MIS025216.

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