New search in hunt for Paige

This Is Lancashire: Paige Chivers disappeared after she boarded a bus in Bispham, Blackpool, near her family home in August 2007 Paige Chivers disappeared after she boarded a bus in Bispham, Blackpool, near her family home in August 2007

Police investigating the suspected murder of a 15-year-old girl are searching an area of land near where she was last seen.

Detectives have acted on new information about the possible location of the body of Paige Chivers after a £30,000 reward was offered last month.

Paige disappeared after she boarded a bus in Bispham, Blackpool, near her family home in August 2007.

Since then, four people have been arrested on suspicion of her murder but released without charge.

The search area is focused on an overgrown patch of land off All Hallows Road behind All Hallows Church in Bispham.

Police will strip back the vegetation before deciding on the next step in the search process, said Lancashire Constabulary.

The inquiry team is being assisted by advisers from the National Crime Agency and forensic scientists.

Officers will be carrying out house-to-house inquiries in the area to try to trace people who lived there at the time. Her family are aware developments and are being kept fully informed, police added.

Detective Superintendent Andy Webster said: "While we are keeping an open mind about what we may find, if anything, at this site we do believe the information we have received is genuine and we are treating it seriously.

"We are taking a graduated approach to the search and we will first clear the area and assess it to see what the best approach is to searching further."

He added: "If someone does have information, but is reluctant to come forward due to fears arising either from their own involvement in criminality or they may have played minor role in assisting Paige's killer or killers, I would still ask them to come forward and speak to us. Our primary objective remains to identify Paige's killer or killers and recover her body so her family can lay her to rest.

"We are also keen to tie down Paige's movements around the bank holiday weekend in August 2007 and would ask anyone with information about that, however small, to contact us."

Last month, police began searching a derelict block of flats in All Hallows Road as part of the inquiry. They said "nothing immediately significant" was found but forensic tests are continuing.

Paige left her home in Longford Avenue, Bispham, on August 23, 2007 following a family row and boarded a bus in nearby Ashfield Road, heading into the resort.

Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 quoting log 0303 of April 15, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.

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