Operation Sanctuary enquiry into sex abuse is progressing say police

Northumbria Police

Northumbria Police

First published in News
Last updated

A MAJOR investigation into the sexual exploitation of vulnerable women and girls has now been running for a month.

Northumbria Police has made 54 arrests during Operation Sanctuary and one man has been charged with rape.

Approximately 80 women and girls have been identified in Newcastrle, Gateshead and South Tyneside, and police, together with partners, are speaking to them and offering them support.

Officers are continuing to visit businesses across the force area, such as taxi firms, hotels, B&Bs, and takeaways, to ask for people’s help and co-operation.

Northumbria Police’s Deputy Chief Constable, Steve Ashman, said: "Operation Sanctuary is progressing and we are acting on and following up all of the information that we are receiving from the public.

"We are working closely with our local communities and partner agencies to raise awareness of this important issue and encourage people to report the sexual exploitation of women and girls.

"We need the public to assist us with the investigation and I'd urge people to be vigilant and pass on any information they think could help us with our enquiries.

"Specially trained officers are continuing to work with and support the victims we have identified so far and I would like to praise their courage in coming forward and speaking to us.

"I want to reassure our communities that we are doing all we can to identify offenders and I'd ask anyone who thinks they may be a victim, regardless of how long ago the offence may have taken place, to come forward and speak to us."

Anyone with any information can call Northumbria Police on 101, extension 69191, quoting Operation Sanctuary, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Advice and support is available via Victim Support on 0845 277 0977 or Childline on 0800 1111.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree