Police appeal for 12-year-old boy missing after 'incident' at school


A 12-year-old boy is believed to have gone missing after an "incident" at school, police have said.

Joshua Oxley's family reported his disappearance at 4.30pm on Tuesday after he failed to return home at the usual time.

He was last seen at around 7pm on Tuesday night at Chapeltown railway station in Sheffield by a member of the public.

The Rotherham schoolboy was also spotted at the roundabout near junction 35 of the M1 motorway at around 4.30pm.

Superintendent Paul McCurry, of Rotherham District Police, said Joshua may have gone missing after an "incident" at his school.

"Joshua's disappearance for this length of time is out of character and we believe this may be as a result of an incident at school yesterday," he added.

"I would like to say to Joshua that he is not in any trouble and his mum and the rest of his family just want him to get in touch and let them know where he is.

"As you can imagine this is a very difficult time for his family and they are being supported by specialist officers."

Police are appealing for information about Joshua's safety while specialist officers carry out "extensive" searches of the surrounding areas.

"At the time that Joshua was last seen at the train station there are likely to have been other commuters who will have seen Joshua," Supt McCurry said.

"We need those people to come forward.

"It may not have particularly struck you seeing a young boy in a school uniform at that time but please look at the picture of Joshua and if you remember seeing him, please come forward as your information could be vital."

He added: "Since Joshua was reported missing we have conducted a number of searches around his home and the area where he was last seen.

"We have also been speaking to his friends and family as we continue to build up a picture of Joshua's life and the places he may have gone.

"What we do know is that Joshua left Winterhill School, which is based on High Street in the Kimberworth area of Rotherham, around 3.50pm.

"He was then seen by a member of school staff around 40 minutes later at the roundabout over the M1 at junction 35 and we now know he was at Chapeltown Railway Station shortly before 7pm.

"He was reported missing to police around 4.30pm and a number of checks and initial searches took place from that point."

Joshua is described as white, around 4ft 6in and of slim build with short, light-brown hair.

He was last seen wearing his uniform, consisting of black trousers, white short-sleeved shirt, school tie, black shoes and black school jumper or grey hoodie, and carrying a red backpack.

Anyone with information can call Rotherham District Police on 101, quoting incident number 720 of September 22.