Police on corner Flinders St and Swanston St last night. Picture: Yuri Kouzmin
Police on corner Flinders St and Swanston St last night. Picture: Yuri Kouzmin

‘Horrendous’ sex assault on girl during city NYE celebration

A YOUNG girl was sexually assaulted in Flinders St just after midnight in the middle of the New Year's celebrations.

Police said the girl, who is younger than a teenager, was with her parents at the time when the incident occurred between Federation Square and Flinders St station.

The alleged attacker was not known to the girl, Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said.

He did not describe the circumstances of the assault, or provide the girl's age, but said the offending was "horrendous".

Mr Patton said the investigation was ongoing and detectives were chasing the offender.

Police on the corner Flinders St and Swanston St last night. Picture: Yuri Kouzmin
Police on the corner Flinders St and Swanston St last night. Picture: Yuri Kouzmin

"It's still an active investigation by our sex crimes squad … At this stage we don't have an identified suspect," he said.

"We will investigate it as fully as we can with the view of apprehending the offender. Anyone who did witness any criminal offending of any sort I'd urge to call Crime Stoppers."

He said the attack happened about 12.15am.

There were 59 arrests related to New Year's Eve events across Victoria, including 37 people who were drunk.

Police were called to reports of an out-of-control party in a CBD apartment where bottles were being thrown from the balcony.

Deputy Commissioner Patton said the party was shut down and "nipped in the bud very quickly".

Overall, the number of arrests was down compared to previous years, and Deputy Commissioner Patton said police were extremely happy with crowd behaviour.

"Overwhelmingly we saw great behaviour by the crowds overnight, with people heeding our advice to celebrate safely and responsibly," he said.

"As always, there were a small number of people who did the wrong thing. Those people faced a firm response from police so they didn't spoil the events for the broader community."

Police figures show there were:

- 37 arrests for drunk,

- 22 arrests for other offences, including behavioural, theft, and drug-related offending,

- 43 penalty infringement notices for traffic offences,

- 57 penalty infringement notices for other offences,

- 15 cautions were issued

Anyone with information about the indecent assault is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au


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