A CCTV image has been released after a man punched a young girl in the face after trying to steal her purse in Chesham.

The victim, a 12-year-old girl, was queuing with a friend to pay for items at Sainsbury’s, in Elgiva Lane, at around 1.45pm on November 3 when she was approached by a man who tried to take her purse.

She stepped away from him so he was unable to reach it. He then punched her in the face.

A member of the public stepped in between them and the two friends then left the shop.

Police said the girl was not injured and nothing was stolen.

Investigating officer PC Luke Bond, based at Amersham police station, said: “I am appealing for anyone who recognises this man or who witnessed this incident.

“I am particularly keen to trace the member of the public who intervened as I believe they may have vital information.”

Anyone with information can call 101 quoting reference 43180336737, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.