SIX people have been arrested after a string of sex attacks on 25 children in parks across Bury.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed five men and one woman were today being quizzed over offences including rape, sexual assault and possession of indecent images.
Manchester Evening News reported the woman was being held on suspicion of arranging or facilitating the sexual exploitation of a child.
Cops also revealed fears the number of victims could rise as more people come forward over the attacks.
The offences are believed to have taken place in public parks, outdoor locations and various premises across Bury, Greater Manchester.
The six people remain in police custody, with a total of 20 people arrested as part of the police investigation.
Clarence Park in Bury is believed to be one of the spots where the alleged sexual assaults unfolded.
Detective Superintendent Joanne Rawlinson, of GMP’s Bury district, said: “This is a complex investigation and today’s action is a result of the extensive work between police, Bury Council Children’s Services and other partners.
“Our main focus is to protect and support the young people affected by these types of offences and to prevent further abuse from taking place. Detectives have worked tirelessly to recover evidence and will continue to do so.
Around 25 young people have found the confidence to speak with us about what has happened to them. This figure may well increase as the investigation continue
“You cannot underestimate how incredibly difficult it is for a young person to speak out about the abuse that they have suffered for a whole host of reasons.
“Around 25 young people have found the confidence to speak with us about what has happened to them. This figure may well increase as the investigation continues. Supporting each young person alongside our specialist partners including Bury Council Children’s Services will remain our priority. ”
Karen Dolton, Bury Council’s executive director for children, said: “The police and our children’s services teams work tirelessly to support young people to come forward and tell their story.
“This kind of effective multi-agency working is essential in ensuring that vulnerable young people are protected and that perpetrators of CSE are brought to justice.”
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Anyone who needs to speak to police about concerns or questions around child sexual exploitation in Bury should contacted police on 0161 856 4484.
Reports can also be made anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.