Police are urgently searching for a man suspected of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl in an alleyway.
Essex Police are trying to trace Steven Partridge, 22, following the incident in Southend and have warned members of the public not to approach him.
Detective Chief Superintendent Tracy Hawkings, the force's head of public protection, said: "The victim, a girl aged nine from Southend, was found by a member of the public who called the police.
"She is being cared for by specially trained police officers. She has suffered a sexual assault and we are doing everything we can to look after her following this traumatic ordeal."
The incident happened at about 5pm on Monday in an alleyway off Scratton Road in the town.
Partridge had been living at an address in York Road, Southend, but is also known to have lived in the Folkestone and Hackney areas.
He is also known by the surnames of Keys, Keyes, Budden and Young.
He is white, 6ft, of slim build, with blue eyes. He has short straight fair hair and has a tattoo on his left wrist which says 'Mum' and one on his right arm which says 'Steven'.
Anybody with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Essex Police on 01245 282103 as soon as possible.
In the event of a live sighting, people should call 999.