Police are hunting a British mother suspected of abducting her 11-year-old son while on holiday in Spain.

Alex Batty, from Greater Manchester, went on the pre-agreed trip with his mother Melanie Batty, who does not have legal guardianship.

They flew into Malaga Airport on 30 September and stayed in the picturesque mountainous area of Benahavis near Marbella, police said.

Alex was due to return to England on 8 October, but never did.

Detectives say enquiries have revealed they left Benahavis and may have tried to head to the Spanish enclave of Melilla, on the border with Morocco, from the Port of Malaga on 8 October.

Alex has not been seen since and although officers do not believe he is at risk of harm, they are concerned about his welfare and want to bring him home to his legal guardian.

He is described as white, about 5ft tall, slim, with blond hair and a northern accent.

Officers say they are working with the Spanish authorities to trace 37-year-old Melanie Batty in connection with the abduction. They have also appealed to the public for help.

Detective Inspector Lindsay Booth, from Oldham's Public Protection Division, said: "Our main priority is finding Alex and bringing him home.

"His guardian is understandably extremely upset and although she heard from Alex on the 8 October, she has not heard from him since and is desperate to get him home.

"We have followed extensive enquiries and we know Melanie has visited Morocco a number of times before and we believe she could have travelled with Alex to there.

"Our last known location of Alex puts him near the Port of Malaga and boats run from there to Melilla in Morocco.

"I am appealing to anyone who recognises this young boy or Melanie, or has been in contact with them, to please get in touch with us.

"It might be that you were staying in the same resort as them, are friends from home and have heard from them through social media or texts, or that you might have some knowledge of their plans.

"I implore you, please get in touch with us or contact police if you are abroad."

Anyone with any information should call police on 0161 856 8972 (+44 161 856 8972 if you are abroad) or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

melanie batty
Melanie Batty, 37, may have taken her son to Morocco, police say Greater Manchester Police