Police investigating the disappearance of missing pub landlord Malcolm Levesconte say they are "increasingly concerned" for his safety after it is believed he fled the country.

He is said to have left for France following the theft of nearly £30,000 from his pub's Christmas savings clubs.

Officers are writing to 60 customers at The Royal Oak in Shrewton following the theft of the money, previously collected by the landlord.

Levesconte, 59, was last seen at the pub on Sunday, December 9.

Detectives have confirmed that Levesconte booked a return ferry ticket to St Malo in France that same evening and boarded a ferry at Portsmouth.

Det Sgt Mike Standing said: "We are becoming increasingly concerned for Mr Levesconte's safety and continue to treat his disappearance as a missing person inquiry.

"We would strongly urge anyone who thinks that they have information about his whereabouts to come forward and speak to us.

"If you have heard from Mr Levesconte or had contact with him near to when he went missing and think that you have information that would assist us, we would like to hear from you."

He added: "Many of the victims have already contacted us but we have a list of all of the 60 people that have been contributing to the fund and in the next few days they will all receive a letter from us outlining what action they need to take.

"We are making numerous inquiries to try to establish what has happened to this £29,000 Christmas thrift fund which has left so many people without the cash they need for presents and food this year."

Police are now working with the relevant agencies in France to try to trace Mr Levesconte.

The Royal Oak pub remains closed and the family of Mr Levesconte continue to request that the media respect their privacy.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Mr Levesconte is asked to contact Salisbury CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.