Police have confirmed that a helicopter over the city was part of the search for a missing couple and their toddler. 

The chopper was in the air over Mile Oak at Portslade from around 4.40pm and left just after 5.30pm on Friday night. 

Sussex Police told The Argus that "the activity is related to Operation Sorrel", the investigation into concerns about the trio's welfare. 

A teenage girl was seen sleeping in Queen’s Park in Brighton and has also been seen with a man in his late teens or early 20s.

The pair were also seen with an 18-month-old baby.

The park and surrounding areas are now being searched as concerns about their welfare were raised due to the rain and colder weather heading towards Christmas.

Sussex Police Detective Superintendent Kris Ottery said: “We are working hard to establish the identity of these two people and the toddler, and the circumstances around them.

“We are keen to provide any assistance that we can to them to ensure their safety and that they receive appropriate support, particularly during these changeable weather conditions.

“We’re appealing for anyone who may have seen them either before or after 6 December, or who has any information which could help us locate them, to please get in touch.

“If either of the people involved see this appeal themselves, please contact us to let us know that you and the child are safe. There is help and support available to you.”

The couple and their toddler were last seen in Queen’s Park on December 6. The girl is reported to have blonde, messy hair and wearing a pale blue and pink tracksuit. She is also thought to have a northern accent.

The couple are also believed to have a pushchair filled with baggage.

Specially trained officers have been searching the area with police also reviewing CCTV and speaking to transport providers.

Anyone with information is asked to call 999 quoting Operation Sorrel.