THE PARENTS of missing teenager Tom Jones are urging Worcester residents to help them as they search for their son.

Speaking to the Worcester News, Vicki and Ian Jones said they would welcome the help of the city community as they search the area around the River Severn – and asked people to join them in the area near Sabrina Bridge this afternoon.

They believe that Tom, 18, who was last seen in the city centre at around 3am on Wednesday (Tuesday night), would have walked across Sabrina Bridge on his way back to the St John's area.

They also urged anyone who saw Tom between 3.30am and 4.30am on Wednesday to contact the police.

Tom only arrived in the city to start university last weekend, and police say it is totally out of character for him to go missing.

Mr Jones, who is white, 5ft 5ins, slim, with short mousy brown hair and grey/green coloured eyes, was wearing pale coloured jeans, a navy blue woollen zip-up Lacoste top and green shoes when he went missing.

There has been a large police presence throughout the day searching both sides of the river, Worcester Racecourse, and the riverbank.

Detective Inspector Tony Garner said: "Thomas hasn't been seen or heard from since the early hours of Wednesday morning and given that he was last seen close to the river, we are growing increasingly concerned for his welfare.

"This is extremely out of character for Thomas and he is new to the area, having only moved to Worcester on Sunday to commence university."

It has been freshers week, with new students arriving at the University of Worcester ahead of the academic year.

A University of Worcester spokesman said: "We are deeply concerned for the whereabouts of one of our students and would urge the public and fellow students to contact police if they have any information.

“The university’s security staff have been assisting the police in their search. We are in contact with the family and offering support to fellow students.

"The university takes the safety of all of its students very seriously and, along with the Students’ Union, works closely with bars, nightclubs and taxi firms in the City to help our students to have an enjoyable and safe start to the new academic year.”

Anyone with information on Tom's whereabouts or potential sightings is asked to call 101, quoting 431s.