Residents around Crowcroft park in Levenshulme express shock after police discovered victim on Thursday night
A 12-year-old girl has been raped in a park in south Manchester, police have said.
Greater Manchester police were called to Crowcroft park in the Levenshulme area in the south-east of the city, shortly before 11.30pm on Thursday. On arrival, officers found the girl who had been subjected to a serious sex attack.
The park remained cordoned off, with officers still at the scene, until late on Friday afternoon. Two forensic tents could be seen in the park and a small team of crime scene investigators arrived at about 11.30am to search the area for evidence.
A police spokeswoman said an investigation has been launched. Officers were still speaking to the victim on Friday afternoon.
The park, off the city’s Stockport Road, borders Crowcroft park primary school and the Longsight cricket club. It has a children’s playground and a multi-use games area which is shared by the neighbouring school.
A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester police said they had initially been called to the park following reports of concern for a teenage girl. “On arrival, officers discovered that a 12-year-old girl had been raped,” she said on Friday.
DI Ian Cottrell, of the force’s serious sexual offences unit, said people would understandably be concerned and added that police had increased patrols in the area.
“We are offering the victim specialist support at what is a very difficult time,” he said. “If you have any concerns at all or want to speak to someone to pass on information or report a sexual assault, you can contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Luthfur Rahman, a Labour councillor in the area, said the park was usually safe and popular with families. “It’s a very busy park and a very well used park, next to a school, and there are quite a lot of people there all the time,” he said.
“Our thoughts are with this young girl and her family and I would urge anyone with any information about this crime to contact the police urgently.”
Residents of East Road, the houses of which overlook the park, expressed horror at the attack and many said they tended to avoid walking through the park. Petr Crhak, working at a plumbing and heating supplier facing the park’s entrance, said he had known a lot of crime to go on in the park in the two years he had been living in the area. “I wouldn’t walk through there late at night,” he said.
Cathy, who declined to give her surname , said the area was usually quiet and safe, but that she would always avoid the park after dark. Another local resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said he had always lived in the surrounding area. “The area used to be posh, but as you can see it’s gone to seed,” he said. “I used to walk through the park when I was a little boy, but I wouldn’t dream of it now.”