POLICE are investigating reports that an 18-year-old woman was raped in the early hours of Saturday in a ginnel in Bolton.

The attack is believed to have happened in an alleyway off Thorns Road in the Smithills area of the town between 3.15am and 4am.

Police have launched a rape investigation following the claims and the young woman is being supported by specially trained officers.

They received the report of the attack at 8.45pm on Saturday.

The exact location the incident took place is still to be confirmed; however enquiries are currently focused on a ginnel just off Thorns Road.

Detective Inspector Damian Threader, of GMP’s Bolton District, said: “At around 8.45pm last night, we received a report that a woman had been raped in the Smithills area.

“We have been carrying out a number of enquiries today to establish the full circumstances of the incident; however we are still in the early stages of our investigation.

“Although we are yet to confirm the exact time and location the attack took place, we believe it happened sometime between 3.15am and 4am on Saturday morning, and at this stage we are focusing our enquiries on a ginnel just off Thorns Road.

“Local residents will notice an increased police presence in the area in the coming days and I would urge anyone who has information that can assist us to please contact police.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 5757, quoting incident number 3219 of 12/10/19, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.