A woman was raped in the early hours of Wednesday 21st September, on a walkway by Major Street car park. The car park is close to Canal Street and Piccadilly Gardens, both usually busy at the time of the attack.
The Manchester Evening News reported that around 2:50am a security guard working a night shift in a building opposite the car park heard screaming and came running out. He found the 18-year-old victim and brought her into the building reception in order to help her. It is thought that the rapist had already fled by the time she was discovered.
The car park is currently being guarded and forensic searches are taking place; officers are also in the process of conducting door-to-door enquiries. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has stated that the young woman is being supported by specially trained officers and that it “is committed to tackling rape and sexual assault by supporting victims and bringing offenders to justice.”
There has not been any suggestion that the victim was a student thus far—in fact, police patrols are usually stepped up in Manchester over September to cope with the influx of students new to the area.
Workers on a construction site close by have said that they believe the attacker dragged the girl into nearby bushes before assaulting her, although this has not yet been confirmed. Staff at the car park were unaware of the attack until they came into work and expressed their shock when told about it.
Between 1st January and 31st December 2015, there were a staggering 1860 rapes and attempted rapes recorded by the GMP. According to Rape Crisis, around 85% of rapes go unreported in the UK, meaning that there are likely to be thousands more victims than the official statistics indicate in Greater Manchester alone.
Anyone with information about this violent crime is being asked to contact GMP by calling 101 and quoting 21/09/16 or by anonymously calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
People who have been affected by sexual violence at any time can call St Mary’s Centre on 0161 276 6515 for expert help and advice.