Police concerned for welfare of two young children missing with their father

Updated: 

Police searching for a man who disappeared with his two young children have said they are "very concerned" for their welfare.

Robert Roche, 36, along with 18-month-old daughter Betsy and son Joey, three, were last seen as they set off for nursery from their Hove home on Monday morning.

Sussex Police have urged Mr Roche to contact them after worried relatives raised the alarm on Monday evening.

Detective Inspector Mick Jones said: "We are searching the local area and are keen to hear from anyone who has spotted Robert and his children.

"If you see them or know where they might be, please let us know right away on 101 or 999, quoting serial 1053 of 14/08.

"We also ask Robert to get in touch with us so that we can arrange to meet and confirm that he and the children are okay.

"We are not treating the disappearance as suspicious at this stage but it has not happened before and we are naturally very concerned for Robert and especially for his children."

Mr Roche, who is described as white, 5ft10in and stocky with dark hair, set off with his children from their home in Palmeira Square at 9am, police said.

The youngsters were due to be dropped off in nearby Holland Road, but family members realised they had not returned home at 5.30pm.

Officers urged the public to look out for Betsy's distinctive black "buggaboo monkey stroller" buggy with a pink hood.

The pushchair also has a step and a "saddle" by the handle bar.