Five arrested as police swoop on suspected child sex ring
A SUSPECTED child sex ring has been smashed by police in a series of raids across Bolton this morning.
Five men were arrested on suspicion of rape and conspiracy to commit rape in raids in and around the town centre.
The arrests follow an eight-month investigation, which started when a 15-year-old girl reported allegations to police.
The girl is alleged to have been subjected to a catalogue of sexual assaults and rapes between July 2011 and September last year.
The men are now in custody for questioning.
Det Insp Simon Davies, from the police’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 over several months into allegations of serious sexual assaults committed against a young girl.
"For that reason I am 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.”
He said the police will keep the public informed of any developments in the investigation, which they are calling Operation Corso, "when they are able to do so".
He added: “Specially trained staff are continuing to support the victim throughout what is clearly a traumatic time for her.”
Ch Supt Mary Doyle, from the police's public protection unit, said Bolton is "not becoming another Rochdale".
Anyone affected by the investigation can call police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111, or call the children's charity NSPCC on 0800 8005000.