Seven men and a woman arrested over sexual assaults

Detectives from Northumbria Police have launched an investigation called “Operation Sanctuary” following information about a series of sexual assaults involving a number of men from a range of communities and female victims.

A dedicated team of specialist officers has been set up and, as part of the investigation, searches are being carried out on properties, predominantly in Newcastle, but also in other locations across the force area.

Eleven properties were searched this morning and eight people arrested (seven men and one woman) for conspiracy to rape.