Police are investigating an alleged sexual assault of a young female near Edgecumbe.

Around 6pm on March 21 the female was cycling on Matata Rd, west of Edgecumbe.

Police said in a statement she was approached by an unknown male who was running in the area.

The statement said the male allegedly approached the female, pushed her off her bicycle then sexually assaulted her.

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Police are appealing to anyone who was in the area around this time who may have seen anything suspicious, or have seen a male running in the area.

Detective Ash Clements of the Eastern Bay of Plenty Adult Sexual Assault Team said the incident was of "extreme concern both to the police and the wider community".

"The actions of this male were unprovoked and have occurred in daylight hours on a very public road.

"Members of the public are asked to provide any information, even if it appears to be minor, to police as soon as possible."

Information can be provided to the Whakatane police on (07) 308 5255, the Edgecumbe police on (07) 304 9004, or anonymously via the crime stoppers line 0800 111 555.

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