Manchester police have asked for witnesses to come forward after the body of a man was found in a canal in the early hours of this morning.

Officers were called to Ducie Street, Manchester following a report that a man had been seen in the canal.

The area is used by men looking for sex with other men and police have reassured witnesses who may be reluctant to come forward.

“You could hold vital information which could help us build up a picture of what happened to this man and I would therefore urge you to come to us,” said Deputy Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Janet Hudson.

“We are not interested in why you were there, only what you saw. You can come to us in confidence and we will treat you with discretion and respect.”

The death is currently being treated as suspicious and an investigation has been launched.

Police said the man has not yet been identified and a post-mortem will take place later today.

Officers attended with the underwater search team at 2.10am this morning after reports of a man in the canal and found the body.

“To help establish what happened, we need anyone who was in the area between 10pm and 2.30am to come forward,” said Det Insp Hudson.

“Perhaps you saw this man in the water, or may have seen something in the area which caused you concern. It does not matter if that detail is small – we still need to hear from you.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Major Incident Room at Wythenshawe on 0161 856 4721 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.