A TEENAGE girl was raped in a back alley behind a pub in Bolton town centre, police said.
The 18-year-old victim was attacked in the early hours of this morning, at about 4am, in an alleyway off All Saints Street, at the back of the Founders Arms pub.
She was heard screaming by a nearby resident, police said.
The Bolton News understands the victim was walking home alone when the attacker walked up to her in the street and introduced himself before dragging her into the alleyway and raping her.
The victim called police, who saw the man running away when they arrived.
The attacker was white, with short hair and was wearing a T-shirt and jeans.
Police are now appealing to anyone who has information to come forward.
Det Insp Damian Simpson said: "We are currently in the early stages of investigating the rape of a young woman and we are providing support to the woman and her family during what is clearly a very difficult and traumatic time for them.
"We are still piecing together the movements of this woman and the offender and trawling CCTV so we can build up an accurate picture of where they met and where they went before she was raped.
"I would therefore ask the public help us in our inquiries and come and tell us if you have any information about what happened."
He added that police would be increasing their patrols in the area over the next few days.
Det Insp Simpson said: "There may be residents living in this area or passers-by who heard a woman screaming between the hours of 2am and 5am and if you did, you could have crucial information that will help us locate the offender."
Pong Rukipong, a chef at nearby Thailand Cafe, which backs onto the alleyway, said: “It is really bad round here.
“I have had people banging on the back door trying to get in while we are still open.
“It’s horrible to hear about this. I hope she is okay.”
A member of staff at The Founders Arms, who did not want to be named, said: “I left here at about 11pm last night to get the last bus as we were quiet.
“The landlord, Tony, did say he heard something at about 4am, but his room looks out onto the other street.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.