POLICE are investigating claims a teenage girl was attacked in an alleyway near a York supermarket.

A walkway at the end of the Tesco store at Askham Bar, leading out on to Tadcaster Road opposite York College, was cordoned off yesterday following reports of an assault at about 7.30pm on Wednesday.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said he believed the girl to be in her early teens and said police were trying to find out whether an attack had happened.

Residents visiting Tesco on Thursday spoke of their concern that an attack may have taken place.

Hilary Smith, 53, of Copman-thorpe said: “I have a daughter who turns 18 next week, so it’s really scary. People need to keep their wits about them.”

Police were originally told a sexual assault had taken place, but have since said they are trying to establish whether an incident happened. The complainant was being interviewed but had not been injured and inquiries were ongoing.