A NINE year old boy who visited a park with his mum and siblings has been punched by a teenager, in what police are treating as a racially-aggravated assault.

The youngster was attacked after being followed by the group of older children, as he left Moordown Recreation Ground, Malvern Road, Bournemouth, with his mum and two siblings.

Police say the family had visited the park on Saturday, April 24, around 6pm.

While there, the victim saw three boys and a girl enter the park and start 'behaving in a loud and abusive manner'.

When the woman and her three young children, aged between four and nine, left to walk back to their car, parked in Enfield Road, the group became racially abusive and followed them.

When they got to their car, around 8.30pm, one of the group, the boy aged around 16, punched the nine-year-old in the face, causing bruising and a cut lip. Then they all ran away.

Constable Justyna Nicholas, of Bournemouth police, said: “This was an unpleasant incident for the victim and her children and I am very keen to identify the individuals involved.

"We take incidents such as this extremely seriously.

"I would urge any witnesses, or anyone who knows who these individuals are, to please contact Dorset Police.

"I am aware that there was another man in the park with his children at the time of the incident, as well as a second man who may have possibly recorded the incident while walking his dogs, and I would like to directly appeal to these two people to please get in touch with me."

The boy who committed the assault is aged around 16, white, five feet four inches tall and of skinny build with blond hair. He was wearing a navy-coloured hooded top and navy tracksuit bottoms.

The second boy is described as aged around 13, white and of large build with blond hair. He wore a blue T-shirt and grey jogging bottoms.

The third boy is described as also being aged around 13 and of large build with blond hair.

The girl is described as white, aged 13 with long blonde hair and wore a black jacket and a green skirt.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210064380.

Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.