Police say they are “extremely concerned” for the mother of a newborn baby found dead in a street in Portsmouth.
The baby was found at the junction of Victoria Street and Old Commercial Road, close to the birthplace of Charles Dickens, shortly after 6.15am on Saturday.
In a direct appeal to the mother, Detective Chief Inspector Simon Baker said: “I know this must be a very distressing time for you, but I want to make sure you are getting the right help and care.
“I understand you may be frightened, but it is important that you get in touch with us.”
He added that police were “extremely concerned for the welfare of the mother of this child”.
“We want to speak with anyone who has concerns about someone who has recently been heavily pregnant, that you suspect may have been heavily pregnant or who has given birth very recently,” he said.
“Or maybe you have concerns for the whereabouts of a recently born baby.
“Anyone who contacts us can speak with us in complete confidence. Our priority now is to ensure the mother of this child receives the assistance she requires.”
Officers are carrying out house-to-house enquiries in the Old Commercial Road area.
Anyone with information should call 101, quoting Operation Cravat, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.