Emergency services are searching for a six-year-old boy who has fallen into a river.

Kent Police said officers were called to Richborough Road in Sandwich at about 1.20pm on Saturday over concern for the welfare of a child who had fallen into the River Stour.

Officers are carrying out a search of the area alongside staff from the Coastguard and Kent Fire and Rescue Service, the force said.

Members of the public who want to help were also briefed on how to take part in the search in a safe way as the light faded.

Kent Police Superintendent Amanda Tillotson said that while they appreciate the public support in helping with the search, the force “strongly advise people stay away from the water”.

She added: “This is for their own safety and to ensure those working within the emergency services can focus solely on locating the missing boy.”

A number of different waterways, including the main river, make up the search area.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said: “Emergency services are working together to search for a young child who has fallen into the River Stour close to Richborough Road and the A256 at Sandwich.

“Crews, together with police officers and others, are searching the river using the service boat. The Coastguard helicopter is supporting from an aerial perspective.”