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Five men arrested over rape of 15-year-old girl in Bolton

Suspects held in raids on suspicion of subjecting the teenager to repeated sexual assaults between July 2011 and September 2012

Five men have been arrested over the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl.

They were held in raids at addresses in Bolton, Greater Manchester, today on suspicion of subjecting the teenager to repeated sexual assaults between July 2011 and September 2012.

All five remain in custody for questioning on suspicion of rape and conspiracy to commit rape.

The raids follow an investigation by the Serious Sexual Offences Unit of Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

Detective Inspector Simon Davies, of GMP's Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said: “There will understandably be anxiety in the community following today's arrests.

“This is the result of a complex and detailed investigation that has been running for several months into allegations of serious sexual assaults committed against a young girl.

“There are other people we are actively seeking to speak to as part of this investigation and there may be further arrests in future.

“For those reasons, we are unable to go into any more detail about the status of the investigation.

“What I can say is that Greater Manchester Police takes all allegations of child sexual exploitation very seriously and we have a team of experienced and highly-skilled officers who are carrying out a thorough investigation.

“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.

“Greater Manchester Police will always seek to be as open and transparent as possible with our communities when dealing with allegations of child sexual exploitation and we will keep them informed with any developments when we are able to do so.

“Specially trained staff are continuing to support the victim throughout what is clearly a very traumatic time for her.

“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, in the strictest confidence if needed, to call us on 101, the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or the NSPCC on 0800 800 5000.”