A COMMUNITY is reeling after learning two boys have been arrested, accused of raping a young girl.
The incident was alleged to have taken place in College Park, close to the Hayes Community Campus of Uxbridge College, in Coldharbour Lane, last Tuesday afternoon.
The schoolgirl, 8, was allegedly taken to the site by the boys, both aged 10, and subjected to a sexual assault.
The boys were arrested later that day and questioned by police before being bailed.
The area was cordoned off as police combed the scene for evidence, and the news quickly spread.
Ian Coombs, a resident in the area, said: "The place was crawling with police. College Park was sealed off and police were manning the whole surrounding area overnight."
The news has stunned the local community. Councillor Avtar Sandhu, who represents the neighbouring Pinkwell ward on Hillingdon Council, expressed his shock at the incident.
He said: "Local residents are obviously very concerned, and when news like this gets out people are naturally more careful and cautious. It is really terrible."
Laraine Smith, principal of Uxbridge College, said: "The police investigation in the adjacent area has included enquiries to us which we have been happy to co-operate with fully, and we will work with all relevant partners to do whatever we can."
The two boys have been bailed to a west London police station until mid-November, pending further enquiries. The incident is being investigated by the Sapphire Unit, the crime directorate that specialises in rape and sexual assault cases.
As 10 year olds, the pair are just over the age of criminal responsibility. In England and Wales, any child over the age of 10 can be held accountable for any crimes they commit, and cases are handled in the courts. The UK has one of the lowest minimum ages of criminal responsibility in Europe. [
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