THE total number of arrests in a major sex abuse inquiry now stands at 97.

Northumbria Police launched Operation Sanctuary in January to investigate allegations that vulnerable women and girls were being taken advantage of on Tyneside.

The total number of people charged in connection – with a variety of sex offences - with the investigation is now 14.

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One person has been reported for summons in relation to a sexual assault.

Officers continue to work with other agencies to try to speak to all the victims to establish the circumstances of alleged offences and provide support.

Police are asking everyone to continue to be vigilant and report any information they have, or incidents they have concerns about, to them.

Call Northumbria Police on 101, extension 69191, quoting reference Operation Sanctuary, or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555-111.

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

For more information and advice visit the Operation Sanctuary pages - www.northumbria.police.uk/sanctuary