Updated: Wednesday, 1st July 2020 @ 4:56pm

'Bolton's not becoming another Rochdale': Schoolgirl, 15, endures months of sexual abuse – five bailed

'Bolton's not becoming another Rochdale': Schoolgirl, 15, endures months of sexual abuse – five bailed

By Tom Dyson 

Five men were arrested yesterday for the alleged rape and sexual abuse of a schoolgirl lasting more than a year in Bolton – while police pledge the area 'is not becoming another Rochdale'.

The arrests were made as part of a crackdown on child sexual exploitation in Greater Manchester with a series of warrants executed in the area.

The 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped and sexually assaulted from July 2011 to September 2012.

The men are being investigated for allegations of rape and conspiracy to commit rape and are bailed until January 15 pending further investigation.

Detective Inspector Simon Davies said: “There will understandably be anxiety in the community following today’s arrests.”

He also stressed the need to take these allegations ‘very seriously’ and that a ‘thorough investigation’ was being carried out.

He added: “The force has strategies in place to combat child sexual exploitation and we work closely with other agencies such as Bolton Council to both prosecute people who target vulnerable children and young people and also protect and safeguard victims.”

Detective Chief Superintendant Mary Doyle said: “The simultaneous raids followed a painstaking investigation.”

She also added that the girl was being supported by specially-trained officers during the investigation of the allegations.

She went on to state that ‘Bolton is not becoming another Rochdale’.

The suspects are understood to be of various ethnic origins and have all been part of the 14-month investigation.

DI Davies added: “I would also like to take this opportunity to ask anyone in the community who may be affected by this investigation and wants to speak to us.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Picture courtesy of Scott_1, with thanks.

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