Operation Sanctuary: 27 arrests after week of raids

Northumbria Police started a series of raids on Monday which has led to the arrest of 27 people on suspicion of conspiracy to rape.

The investigation, named Operation Sanctuary, is into alleged sexual assaults on teenage girls and young women by a number of men from a range of communities.

A total of 27 properties have been searched, mainly in Newcastle but also in Gateshead and South Tyneside.

  • MONDAY JAN 27 - 13 men and two women arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rape after raids at 13 addresses across Tyneside.
  • TUESDAY JAN 28 - 6 more men arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rape after searches in Newcastle and Gateshead. The 15 people arrested on Monday were bailed.
  • WEDNESDAY JAN 29 - Four more men arrested, also on conspiracy to rape after raids on three addresses in Newcastle and South Tyneside. All those arrested on Tuesday were bailed.
  • THURSDAY JAN 30 - A further arrest brings the total number to 27 (25men and 2 women). All those arrested have now been bailed.

As the investigation continues, police want to speak to a further 30 women.

At the start of the investigation we discussed several identified victims who were teenage girls and young adults.

At this time, we have identified a further 30 women from across the force area, the majority of whom are adults, who may hold information vital to the investigation.

I must stress that these women are not necessarily victims but we believe may have information that can help us.

Our absolute priority is to protect any victims or potential victims and we are working closely with those involved and our partners to ensure they receive appropriate support.

– Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Gary Calvert, Northumbria Police