Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Monday, 15 December 2008

Unique appeal for abuse witness

CCTV footage of the man police are seeking as a potential witness

Police have issued pictures of a potential witness in an ongoing child sex abuse inquiry.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) has launched its first public appeal to find the man who they say may be able to help them.

He was filmed in an Asda store in the north of England, but police believe he could be anywhere in the country now.

Police said the man "may not even realise that he possesses information that could help".

The witness is aged between 30 and 40, is up to 6ft tall and is stocky with receding hair.

Ceop officers do not know who the man is, but they hope that he or someone who recognises him will come forward as a result of their appeal.

Vital information

Footage of him will be broadcast on BBC1's Crimewatch programme on Monday.

Detective Constable John Hodge, from Ceop's operations faculty, said: "We are asking the public to come forward and help us identify this man.

"As a key witness, we believe he may have vital information that could help us identify a child at risk.

"He may not even realise that he possesses information that could help, so it is vital we trace him."

Detectives have stressed that the man is only being sought as a witness and warned against vigilante action.

Ceop was launched in April 2006 as the UK's national police agency to tackle child sexual abuse.

Anyone with information should contact Ceop's incident room on 0800 546 0030 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Crimewatch UK is due to be broadcast at 2100 GMT on BBC1, with an update at 2235.

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