Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Seven-year-old girl sexually assaulted by teenager in South Queensferry

police

A seven-year-old girl was sexually assaulted as she played on a cycle path in South Queensferry.

The child was approached by a teenage boy on the track behind the village bowling club on Friday afternoon.

Detectives said her attacker had a temporary tattoo on one of his hands and he carried a black and blue rucksack.

The incident happened between 13:30 and 13:45 on Friday.

Police Scotland said officers had stepped up patrols in the area and appealed for help in tracing the boy.

Det Insp Julie Marshall said: "Over the weekend we have been conducting further investigations to establish the full circumstances surrounding this incident and we are now confident that the young victim was indecently assaulted.

"We are eager to speak to anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity in the wooded area around the cycle path on Friday afternoon and those who believe they may have information relevant to this inquiry should contact police immediately."

The attacker was white and of high school age, with hazel brown hair that was swept forward.

'Incredibly rare'

He wore dark trousers and a blue round-neck t-shirt, with white writing.

Det Insp Marshall added: "I would also ask anyone who recognises the description of the suspect to come forward.

"Local residents are urged to think of anyone they know of in the local community who may have a temporary tattoo on one of their hands and who also owns a black and blue rucksack.

"These are distinctive traits and I'm confident someone knows the individual responsible for this attack."

Ch Insp James Jones, the local area commander for north-west Edinburgh, said such incidents were "incredibly rare".

He added: "We recognise the impact they can have on the local community and as such we will have high-visibility patrols operating in the area around the woodland and cycle path while the investigation continues.

"If you have any information and wish to pass it to the police, please speak with one of the officers on patrol or contact us on 101. Alternatively, you can make an anonymous report to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

"South Queensferry is a very small and close-knit community and I have no doubt that one of our local residents may have the vital information to help us solve this crime."

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