POLICE are no longer investigating a stranger rape near Queen's Park after a woman confessed her claim "was not genuine".

Officers launched an investigation last Thursday morning after reports a woman, in her 40s, was raped at a property in Westgate Avenue.

Police patrols were stepped up in the area as a result.

But on Sunday, the woman told officers her original report was not true.

Police ­— who say they conducted numerous lines of enquiry following the report ­— have now closed the investigation and said they are no longer treating the report as genuine.

Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Bridge, of GMP’s Bolton district, said: “We take all reports of sexual offences extremely seriously and the welfare of the victim is our priority.

“As soon as a report is made, the victim is supported by specially trained officers and we trust that each report is genuine.

“We have carried out extensive enquiries and there were increased patrols in the area to reassure members of the community and encourage people who were understandably concerned to approach us.

“Help and support is always there for people who report sexual offences. If you want to make a report of a sexual offence, you will be taken seriously.”

To report a sexual offence you can contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.