TWO counsellors will work with police and other criminal justice agencies to make sure victims of sexual assault are kept up-to-date about the prosecution process.

They will also analyse patterns of North-East offending.

Their work is overseen by the Rhona Cross Centre, in Newcastle, and the Ellis Fraser Centre, in Sunderland, which provide a free and confidential counselling and support service for victims of serious indecent assault.

This service, which was extended to male victims in 2000, has become a model for sexual assault referral centres nationwide.

The new posts, taken by Vicky Curn and Catherine Mason, follow Home Office research into sexual assault referral centres, which recommended more should to be done to encourage victims of sexual crimes to report their attacks to police and to see the case through to court.