Police have 'open mind' as they investigate two rapes on schoolgirls

A residents' vigil near the scene of one of the rapes Credit: Jeremy Hoad

Police are investigating after two 12-year-old girls were raped in separate attacks less than a mile away from each other.

The first victim was assaulted in Crowcroft Park, in the Levenshulme area of Manchester, on September 1 last year.

Just weeks later, on November 22, a second schoolgirl was dragged into an alleyway and raped by a man wearing a balaclava.

Greater Manchester Police said they are 'keeping an open mind' over whether the attacks could be linked.

In November, residents staged a Walk of Solidarity - saying everyone had a right to safely use public spaces in Levenshulme.

It is understood a public meeting has been set up in which people can discuss their concerns with police.