A statue of Buddha has been stolen from a temple in Edinburgh.

Police in Edinburgh are appealing for witnesses following the theft of the religious object which is being treated as a hate crime.

The incident happened sometime between 8pm on Friday, September 16 and 3.45pm on Saturday, September 17 at the Dhammapadia Temple in Slateford Road.

The Buddha statue was taken from the garden area of the building and inquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible.

The statue is around a metre tall and is made of a lightweight material similar to fibreglass.

Constable Simon Wotton from Oxgangs Police Station said: "Local members of the Buddhist community who use the temple are extremely disappointed by this theft and we are currently progressing a number of lines of inquiry to identify the suspects and return the statue.

"Anyone who remembers seeing anything suspicious around the Dhammapadia Temple between Friday evening and Saturday afternoon should contact police immediately.

"We would also urge anyone who knows where we can find the stolen statue to get in touch."

The Dhammapadia Temple's resident Buddhist monk, Wisanupong Thipra, said: "Our community is deeply saddened by the mindless actions of a small few who have removed and stolen our Buddha statue from its home in our front garden.

"Our statue is our symbol of peace and mindfulness which we give respect to every day with prayers and meditation.

"We thank Police Scotland and our neighbours for the support we have received in response to this criminal act."

Anyone with information that can assist officers with their inquiries is being asked to contact police on 101.