Northumbria Police have confirmed they are searching for a missing four-year-old boy in Gateshead who is thought to be in the company of his father following reports circulating on social media.
The appeal to find the boy has been shared thousands of times online, after he was last seen in the Rowlands Gill area.
Officers say they believe that the boy and his father are not “in any immediate danger” but are urging the father to contact police.
Police have also warned members of the public to be ‘careful’ about sharing ‘false information’ on social media after more than 100,000 shares of the appeal were posted online.
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “We are aware of reports circulating on social media about a four-year-old boy who was reported missing in Gateshead.
“We can confirm we are searching for a missing child but believe he is in the company of his father who is also missing, we urge the father to contact police.
“It is not believed that the child or his father are in any immediate danger but we do need to speak to them both to ensure they are safe and well. Officers are supporting the wider family.
“Please be careful about sharing false information on social media but if you do have genuine information then contact police online or by calling 101 quoting NP-20210704-0851.”