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Ribbons signify hope Alice will still be found

The police search for the teenager is the biggest since 7/7. Photo: PA

By ITV News Reporter Sejal Karia

On every street corner in the heart of Hanwell, looped round every tree and lamppost, there are yellow ribbons and posters in shop windows, reminding the community one of their own is still missing.

Put up with hope that even after almost a month young Alice Gross will be found.

Their symbols of optimism and encouragment loom large on the bridge as it looks over the River Brent, which runs through the centre of Hanwell, and where the police search for the 14-year-old continues in earnest.

Locals have put up yellow ribbons as a sign of hope as Alice remains missing. Credit: ITV News

Through the sea of yellow, there are glimpses of the blue overalls officers are wearing as they look through the river's bank, intermittently bagging up anything that might be a clue, that might yield a piece of evidence that will lead to them to Alice.

While it might be in the western part of our sprawling capital, the community remains tight-knit, caring and hopeful.

Police speak to members of the public as they continue the search for Alice. Credit: PA

I spoke to some of the local shop-owners half a mile away from the search area where the local landmark, the clock tower, is covered with yellow ribbons.

They told me they have been tied not just to keep up the momentum to find her but to serve as a gesture of support and strength to Alice's family.

Alice Gross was last seen walking near a canal in Hanwell, west London on August 28. Credit: Met Police

The Rector of St Mary's church in Hanwell, Matthew Grayston, told me the community might feel unable to help in the physical search for Alice, but that their gestures are just as important.

He said: "There's a sense in which there are no words, there's only a ribbon on a gate or a quiet hug, what words are appropriate?

"I think gestures we care, we're with you, we kind of understand, that's the most subtle thing we can offer."

Tomorrow it will be a month since Alice disappeared. The Metropolitan Police are due to stage a reconstruction of her last known movements.

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