A 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to murder a 10-year-old girl.

The school girl is in hospital following the violent assault after Devon and Cornwall Police were called to reports the girl had been attacked in Exmouth.

A 16-year-old male from the local area has been arrested and remains in police custody.

A member of the public has come forward with information, that has then lead to an arrest.

Superintendent Matt Lawler, Devon and Cornwall Police

The school girl was found by a member of the public in a distressed state near on the evening of Thursday August 4.

Emergency services were contacted and a full police response was launched, including searches, speaking to people in the area and a forensic examination of the scene.

The child has been taken to hospital where she is receiving the expert medical care and treatment she needs, supported by specialist officers from our Public Protection Unit, and of course her family.

Superintendent Matt Lawler, Devon and Cornwall Police

Police say due to the sensitivity in supporting the child, full details will take a while to become clearer.

The investigation into what happened is ongoing and police say this will involve searches of the scene and local area, house-to-house and CCTV inquiries, and further detailed forensic work.

Police combed the site the school girl was found on Marley Road in Exmouth.