Detectives have launched an investigation after receiving reports that a teenager was raped in Burnley this morning.
The offence is reported to have happened at around 9am when a 14 year old girl was approached by an unknown man at the bottom of the steps close to Charter Walk car park.
The man is described as being in his 30s or 40s, having short dark curly hair, a tanned complexion and a short beard. He was wearing dark clothing and it is believed he left the shopping centre in the direction of Church Street.
Detective Inspector Tim McDermott said: “We would like to reassure the public that incidents of this type are rare and we have a number of officers working on the enquiry.
“The girl is being supported by specially trained officers and I would appeal to anyone who was in that area this morning and saw anything they think relevant to contact us immediately.”
Anyone with information should call 101 quoting log number 913 of 1 January.