Fashion group Next has had a fake page removed from Facebook because of concerns about child safety.

The retailer is running a ‘beautiful baby’ contest online, called Next Baby Boutique Model Competition, and became concerned after another page was set up on Facebook which appeared to be passing itself off as Next’s.

The fake page was taken down within hours and the police informed. No members of the public posted pictures of their children on the imitation site.

Next’s competition, which is for babies aged up to 36 months, is still running. After concerns were raised by members of the public Bedfordshire Police issued a statement on Facebook confirming that Next’s competition was legitimate and linking to the retailer.

A Next spokesman said the contest “is being monitored very carefully because it’s obviously a sensitive issue”.

The competition had already provoked controversy after insulting comments were made online about babies featured and after one baby was wrongly barred from being entered because of a birthmark.