Northumbria Police Praise Public And Business Support For Operation Sanctuary

More Than 60 Arrests In Relation To Exploitation Of Vulnerable Women


The public and local businesses have been praised by Northumbria Police for their continued support and assistance with Operation Sanctuary, which is investigating allegations of sexual offences against vulnerable women.

The force has confirmed that 67 people have been arrested in its footprint since the launch of the operation in January, with a total of nine people being charged in relation to the issues.

According to Northumbria Police, the public have played an important role in providing information on suspicious activity, while hotel owners and taxi drivers have also played a part by refusing bookings or reporting worrying incidents.

Northumbria Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Steve Ashman said the investigations as part of the operation had “broadened considerably” since its launch.

He added: “There is no place for this type of criminal activity in our area and we will disrupt those involved to ensure we bring it to an end.”

Anyone with information or concerns regarding Operation Sanctuary has been asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191 or get in touch with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Emma Crowther, a legal specialist based at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office, said: “While it is welcome to see progress being made in this operation, it is of course worrying to see the scope and extent of the problems being identified by Northumbria Police.

“It is vital that work continues in earnest to tackle these issues, with the ultimate aim of ensuring that vulnerable people can be protected from any potential harm in the future.

“Through our work on behalf of victims of abuse, we have seen the lasting physical and psychological damage it can cause. These problems cannot be underestimated and it is vital that victims identified by this operation get access to the support they need.”