Three eight-year-old boys from Angus have been reported to the youth justice assessor over the alleged sexual assault of a young girl.
Police Scotland confirmed the boys were interviewed following an incident in Arbroath on Thursday.
It is understood the girl is around the same age as the boys and that the alleged offences were of a serious nature.
Detective Inspector Ally Waghorn, the senior investigating officer, said: “We are fully aware of the rumours circulating in Arbroath and the anxiety those rumours create. I would like to reassure local residents that we are not looking for any other individuals in connection with this enquiry.”
The Youth Justice Assessor will determine the next move in the case and has the power to refer the matter to other agencies.
Although the age of criminal responsibility in Scotland is eight, children under 12 cannot be prosecuted in an adult court.
It is likely the case will be passed to the Children’s Reporter for further consideration.