A 12-year-old girl on her way home from school was repeatedly punched in the face by a gang of teenage skateboarders.

Lily Roud was knocked off her scooter and beaten around the head by up to four boys as she came home from school in St Albans, Christchurch on Thursday.

Friends of the Heaton Intermediate School pupil found her crying in the street with cuts and bruises to her face.

Lily's mother, Louise Pomeroy, says Lily is now terrified of travelling home from school by herself and is pleading for anyone who saw the attack in Rutland St to come forward.

"This was a vicious assault. She is a really soft gentle girl. She is not someone who would ask for trouble."

Lily added: "They just kept punching me in the face. It was really scary. No one could see me because it was underneath a bridge."

Pomeroy said she took Lily to lay a complaint at Christchurch Central Police station but was told no officers were available and to come back the next day.

Pomeroy said: "All I want to do is find the boys who have done this. But the police don't appear to be too concerned."

Christchurch police confirmed that a complaint had been laid but no one was able to comment on the case.

Pomeroy has been driving around her neighbourhood for hours each day with a digital camera looking for boys who match the description given by her daughter.

They were described as European, aged between 15 and 18, "I just want to find them before they do this to someone else's child. Who knows how many attacks they have been responsible for?"