Police are appealing for the mother of a newborn baby found dead in the street in Portsmouth to come forward.
Officers are carrying out house-to-house enquiries in the area after the discovery around 6am on Saturday.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Baker said: “We are extremely concerned for the welfare of the mother of this child.
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
“I am making a direct appeal to her to get in touch with us. I know this must be a very distressing time for you, but I want to make sure you are getting the right help and care.
“I understand you may be frightened, but it is important that you get in touch with us.
“We want to speak with anyone who has concerns about someone who has recently been heavily pregnant, that you suspect may have been heavily pregnant or who has given birth very recently.
“Or maybe you have concerns for the whereabouts of a recently born baby.”
He issued an assurance that anyone who contacted police could speak in complete confidence.
“Our priority now is to ensure the mother of this child receives the assistance she requires,” he said.
Hampshire Police said in a statement: “We are currently investigating the death of a recently born baby, who was found at the junction for Victoria Street and Old Commercial Road, Portsmouth, this morning, close to the birthplace of Charles Dickens.
“Police were called at 6.18am today and officers are carrying out enquiries in the area.
“We are in the early stages of our investigation and a scene remains in place, with officers carrying out house-to-house enquiries in the area.”
Det Chf Insp Baker added that people locally would see an increased police presence.
“If you have any concerns, however insignificant you may believe them to be, please do not hesitate to approach an officer or to call us,” he said.