POLICE are making a fresh appeal for information on the whereabouts of a teenage girl who has been missing for a week.

Concern is mounting for the safety of 16-year-old Rachel Boocock, who was last seen by staff at a children's home in the Aycliffe area when she left to meet friends in Darlington, last Tuesday.

Rachel has never been missing before.

She called the children's home last Wednesday and is believed to have been spotted in the Stanhope Park area of the town. However, there has been no further contact from her and staff are becoming increasingly worried.

Inspector Alan Watson, of Darlington Police, said: "We have had patrols out searching the town for her and we wish to speak to anyone who thinks they may have seen her or knows where she is.

"It is not unusual, especially during nicer weather, for teenagers to go missing for a few days before returning home, but that does not mean we are not taking this seriously."

He added: "We want Rachel to know that she is not in any trouble and will not be in any trouble when she returns. We just want to know she is safe and well."

She is described as 5ft 2in, slim, with dark hair worn in mini plaits. She was thought to be wearing a blue denim jacket and black jeans, and always wears a baseball cap.

Anyone who has information about Rachel's whereabouts is asked to get in touch with Durham County Council on (01325) 375710, or the police on 0845-606 0365.