Operation Sanctuary update

21 Mar 2014 15:24 PM

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This is an update on Operation Sanctuary, the wide reaching police investigation into allegations of sexual crime committed against vulnerable women and girls.

Five further arrests were made this week bringing the total number of arrests to 64 people (62 men and 2 women) from across the force area.

Eight people have been charged with various sexual offences and are now in the court system (see details below).

Officers have identified approximately 80 women and girls who are victims or potential complainants and we are working with partners to make contact with them all.

Information from the public continues to come into the force and is extremely valuable to the investigation team.

Northumbria Police Deputy Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: "The public continue to share important information with us and are being extremely vigilant and contacting us when they see situations they have concerns about or women and girls they feel are vulnerable. This is key to how we will bring all offenders to justice and demonstrates how our communities share with us a determination not to tolerate this criminal behaviour.

"I would urge people to continue to do this as we want to hear about any concerns they have and to remember if a situation doesn't look right or feel right they should trust their instincts and let us know.

"We are still speaking to all complainants, as potential victims or witnesses with specialist trained officers and departments to try and establish the circumstances of any incidents and whether or not they form part of Operation Sanctuary."

Anyone with any information or concerns is asked to contact police on 101 ext 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.