Fears are growing for the safety of a young brother and sister who have run away together.

Police say they fled separate care homes and may be in hiding.

Fiona and Neil Robertson are known to enjoy visiting the Palace Pier, Brighton, but checks by police have so far proved fruitless.

Neil, 12, left his home in Goring a week ago today. He said he was going to see a friend but never returned.

His 11-year-old sister was reported missing from her home in Worthing on Sunday. She said she was going to Brighton and she too failed to return. The pair have both run away before.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: "They are both vulnerable and young and we are concerned for their safety and welfare.

"They have been missing for some days now and we have checked addresses in Brighton, Worthing and Burgess Hill.

"We know both children are known to have frequented the Palace Pier, Brighton, in the past and we would appeal to members of the public to contact us should they see them."

The youngsters were being looked after by Brighton and Hove Social Services who are working with the police to trace them.

Neil is 5ft 3in with dark hair and blue eyes, is of stocky build, and was wearing a pale blue Nike tracksuit and pale blue checked cap, navy blue T-shirt and Nike white trainers.

Fiona has a green plaster cast on her left arm. She was last seen wearing a navy T-shirt, dark blue hooded top with zip front and blue jeans. She also has a silver Nike ring. She is 4ft 9in, slim, with dark brown hair with a blond highlight at the front and brown eyes.

Anyone who spots the pair is urged to contact police on 0845 6070999.

Officers were expected to release more details later today.

Police have made inquiries at specific addresses in Whitehawk, Brighton and searched from Brighton city centre to Seven Dials, and in Burgess Hill, Goring and Mannings Heath, near Horsham.