A ‘NASTY’ attack on a young boy is being treated as a sectarian hate crime, police have confirmed.
The incident, which happened at around 1pm on Monday, May 29, saw a 12-year-old boy kicked and punched after being approached a group of teenagers.
The attack took place near the City Walls in The Fountain area of Derry.
A PSNI spokesperson confirmed: "Police received a report that a 12-year-old boy had been assaulted in the vicinity of the City Walls in The Fountain on Monday afternoon, May 29 at around 1.10pm.
"It's reported three males, and one female - all believed to be of young teenage age - approached the boy.
“One of these males assaulted the victim, kicking him on the leg and punching him on the face.”
The attack only stopped as a member of the public intervened, the PSNI confirm.
“A member of the public intervened by shouting and the three males and female ran off towards Bishop Street,” they state.
"The boy was taken to hospital for treatment of his injuries, which included a concussion."
SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood has since condemned the attack, claiming: “Sectarianism and sectarian-motivated violence have no place in Derry and Northern Ireland.”
He added: “It’s up to us as a society to foster reconciliation, bridge divisions, and build understanding based on respect between our communities at a young age.
“A new generation of young people, free from the sectarian shackles of the past, must be allowed to flourish in Derry and across Ireland.
“Our young people should not live in fear in their own city, and I hope the boy who was attacked is feeling better soon.
“I would encourage anyone with information about the incident to come forward and assist the police in their investigation."
The PSNI have appealed for anyone with information about the attack to come forward.
"This was a nasty assault which has left the victim understandably distressed,” PSNI Inspector Michael Gahan said.
“This assault is being investigated as a sectarian hate crime and we encourage anyone who can assist with our enquiries to get in touch with us by calling 101, and quoting reference number 1061 of 29/05/23."