A member of parliament has blasted the police investigating the rape of a 14-year-old boy in a Manchester department store.
MP Tony Lloyd has questioned why it took 11 weeks for the police to make a public appeal for information about the crime which happened on 2 June, Manchester Evening News reports.
Greater Manchester Police only released the images on 21 August, nearly three months after the rape in a Debenhams store.
Lloyd, a local MP for the northern English city, said: ‘There is unease about why it has taken so long for those pictures to be released.
‘I think the police do have to give a detailed answer as to why this delay took place.
‘It’s not easy in situations like this, given the need to respect the victim.
‘But I think common sense tells most people that early publication of CCTV both helps the police, because members of the public hopefully come forward and help identify the attacker, and of course, in the worst case, it would help prevent an early repetition.’
Police say they circulated the images of the two men, one white and one Asian, to businesses in the area.
Detectives said after reports of the rape went national and worldwide, they say they received ‘dozens of names’ of possible suspects.
The young boy’s alleged ordeal began when the two men stared at him in a public toilet at the Arndale centre at around 5.45pm.
One of them said to him: ‘Come with us, do what we say and if you try to run we'll get you.’
He then grabbed him by the arm and led him out of the toilet, marching him 50 years across to a nearby Debenhams department store.
The boy was then taken by the lift upstairs and marched to a toilet where he was raped by the Asian man.
Detective Sergeant Liam Boden, of North Manchester CID, said: ‘This young victim has been absolutely devastated by what happened to him.’
‘What makes this incident doubly shocking is that he was marched across a busy part of the city centre during the late afternoon on Saturday.
He added: ‘I want people to take a good look at the men in these images and tell me who they are.’
Enquiries are ongoing so if you have any information, call North Manchester Crime Investigations Department on +44(0)161 856 3240 or Crimestoppers on +44(0)800 555 111.