Alice Byrne: Portbello community searches for missing Edinburgh woman called off following police advice

Several searches for missing woman Alice Byrne that were organised by Portobello locals have been cancelled following police advice.

By Anna Bryan
Thursday, 6th January 2022, 4:33 pm

In a statement, a police officer said that the searches could compromise those being done by police, and expressed concern about the safety of the public.

Chief Inspector Kieran Dougal said: “The local community has been keen to support our ongoing enquiry to trace Alice.

“Today we are continuing to carry out enquiries, review CCTV footage from the local area and use our specialist resources to search for her.

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“Thank you to the public for their continued support with our appeals.

“We have been approached with offers of support on searches.

“It is important the public are not putting themselves in any danger and these can compromise planned, co-ordinated searches by specialist officers.

“We would ask the public to continue to help us by continuing to share our appeals, raising awareness and contacting us with any information they may have".

Searches are ongoing to trace Alice Byrne, 28, who has been missing since the morning of January 1.

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Ms Byrne’s family have also asked the public to stop searches, and advised them to instead focus efforts on spreading the word about her disappearance.

Yesterday, police urged local residents to “check their outbuildings and sheds”.

Alice is known to frequent the Portobello and Newhailes areas of Edinburgh, and police have been carrying out extensive searches and enquiries in these areas.

They have deployed specialist units to assist in the search for Ms Byrne, including air support, police dogs and a marine unit.

Police have also ruled out a connection between the disappearance of Alice Byrne and another person missing from the area, Dean Conner.

Mr Conner was last seen at around 5pm on December 31, 2021, in the Links Avenue area of Musselburgh, walking towards the Promenade area of the town.

Concern has been growing over the well being of Ms Byrne, who was last seen by her family at 2am on January 1 – before heading to a beach party in Portobello.

The last sighting of her occurred sometime between 8am and 10am on Saturday morning. At this time, she was seen leaving a flat on Marlborough Street, where she had met friends.

Police believe she may have been heading towards the promenade area.

Ms Byrne is described as being white, around 5ft 6in tall, medium sized with short black hair.

When she was last seen, she was wearing an orange jacket, black top, black jeans and white trainers, and was carrying a black rucksack.

Yesterday, police urged anyone with information to get in touch with them.

Chief Inspector Kieran Dougal said: “This is an upsetting time for Alice’s family who are extremely concerned that she has not been in contact with them since Saturday. This is completely out of character for her.

“I would again urge anyone who has seen Alice since Saturday morning, or anyone with information on her whereabouts to contact us as soon as possible.

If Alice reads this appeal, I would urge us to phone her family, friends or the Police. Contact 101 quoting reference 0647 of 2 January.”

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