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On Monday 20 January 2020, a 44-year-old man from Salford was arrested on suspicion of rape. He was later also arrested on suspicion of inciting the sexual exploitation of a child. He has now been released on bail pending further enquiries.
Shortly after 5pm on Wednesday 15 January 2020, police received a report that a 16-year-old girl had been raped by a man.
Enquiries have helped officers develop a clearer understanding of what happened and the investigation team now understand that the incident took place in a vehicle in the nearby Smallbridge area.
Detectives also believe the offender had spoken to the victim online in the days prior to the attack.
The investigation is continuing and specialist officers are pursuing significant lines of enquiry.
Superintendent Richard Hunt, of GMP's Rochdale division, said "The welfare of the victim remains a top priority and, as such, specialist officers and partner agencies are continuing to support her and her family at what is, undoubtedly, a distressing time for them.
“I would like to use this opportunity to thank members of the public for their response to our appeal and, in particular, the people of Wardle who have been patient whilst investigation work caused disruption in the area.
"I am aware of rumours circulating in the community and on social media and the understandable concerns of members of the public but I would ask that they refrain from circulating these rumours or speculating about what happened as it will inevitably cause further distress for the victim and her family.
“Instead, I would encourage anyone with information that may assist us to get in touch with the investigation team.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 836 4646 quoting 2066 15/01/2020.
Alternatively, the independent charity - Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Greater Manchester is nationally recognised as a model of good practice in terms of support services available to victims.
- If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, we encourage you not to suffer in silence and report it to the police, or a support agency so you can get the help and support available.
- You can call Greater Manchester Police on 101, or alternatively people can refer themselves to St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0161 276 6515, whether or not you want make a police report.
- St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester provides a comprehensive and coordinated forensic, counselling and medical aftercare service to anyone in Greater Manchester who has experienced rape or sexual assault. Services are available on a 24-hour basis and people can access them via Greater Manchester Police, or as a self-referral.
- Manchester Rape Crisis is a confidential support service run by women for women and girls who have been raped or sexually abused. Confidential helpline: 0161 273 4500.