Tyne & Wear

Operation Sanctuary: Fifty-four arrests in rape plot inquiry

More than 50 people have now been arrested as part of a Northumbria Police investigation into the sexual exploitation of vulnerable females.

Operation Sanctuary has been running for a month and has identified 80 potential victims.

So far, 50 men and two women have been arrested on suspicion of rape.

In addition, one man has been charged with rape and another with two counts of sexual assault. They will appear at Newcastle Crown Court next week.

Deputy Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: "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."

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