A teenage boy had to be treated in hospital after being attacked at the weekend in north Belfast.
The 14-year-old was set upon by a gang of four men in the Alliance Parade area shortly after 4.30am on Sunday.
The teenager suffered facial injuries. Police said a motive for the brutal attack had not yet been established.
The assault was condemned by PSNI Area Commander, Chief Inspector Andrea McMullan, who called on the community to help prevent such incidents.
"This type of behaviour and criminal activity is not a problem that can be addressed by police alone," she said.
"Much more can be achieved if everyone in the community works together. The people involved in this type of activity may only be a small minority but their behaviour impacts on the quality of life of all residents.
"I would urge all those with influence within the community to continue to work with us in partnership to combat this type of crime."
Police are appealing to anyone who was in the area and witnessed the assault or any suspicious activity to contact them on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.