Further arrests as part of Operation Sanctuary
07 Mar 2014 15:11 PM[View Full Size]
Northumbria Police has made four further arrests as the operation into sexual offences against a number of woman and girls continues.
The total number of arrests as part of Operation Sanctuary, launched on January 27, now stands at 58.
Three people have also been charged with sexual offences since that date and are now in the court system.
Officers have identified approximately 80 vulnerable women and girls and are working with partners to make contact with them all.
Northumbria Police Deputy Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: "We have had a great response from the public so far and I want to thank them for their support. As Operation Sanctuary continues, we're asking people to keep being vigilant and reporting any information they have to us as it may prove vital to the ongoing investigation.
"This is about vulnerability and those offenders who prey on women and girls who may be vulnerable in some way. It is imperative that we work together to stop this happening in our communities.
"Since we launched Operation Sanctuary it has been expanded to take in all crimes that target vulnerable females far beyond the scope of the original investigation. This is a direct result of the information the public have told us about and the need to ensure we have a true picture of crimes that specifically target vulnerability."
Anyone with any information or concerns is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference "Operation Sanctuary", or 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.