Operation Sanctuary: Eighth Man Charged

19 March 2014, 16:44 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

An 8th man's been charged as part of a Northumbria Police investigation into abuse of vulnerable girls and women in Newcastle.


The 44 year old from Newcastle, has been charged with rape of a female under the age of 16.

He will appear at Newcastle Magistrates Court on Thursday, March 20th.


UPDATED 14th March 2014

One further arrest was made this week bringing the total number of arrests to 59 people (57 men and 2 women) from across the force area.

Operation Sanctuary was launched on the 27th of January this year and since that date four people have been charged with various sexual offences and are now in the court system.

This brings the total number of individuals charged to six.

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.


UPDATED 29th January 2014

21 people have now been arrested as part of an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of teenage girls and young adults in Newcastle

Northumbria Police have carried out further raids in Newcastle and Gateshead on a number of properties as they reacted to information about a series of sexual assaults.

As part of Operation Sanctuary, six more people were arrested, bringing the total to 19 men and two women, all on suspicion of conspiracy to rape.

The 15 people detained earlier have been bailed pending further inquiries.

Police said some of the victims were in care when the alleged offending took place and that their priority was to protect them and ensure their safety. The alleged offenders are said to be from "a range of communities'' and police have urged against speculating about their background.


UPDATED Tuesday 28th January 2014 - 11am

Five more addresses have been searched in Newcastle and 3 people arrested over allegations of sexual abuse in the city

The total number of people arrested so far is 18 (16 men and two women), all on suspicion of conspiracy to rape.

Of those arrested yesterday, all 15 people (13 men and two women) have been bailed pending further enquiries.

Teams of officers have carried out searches today at addresses in parts of Newcastle, as well as properties in the Gateshead area.

The searches come as investigations continue into alleged sexual assaults on teenage girls and young adult women by a number of men from a range of communities.

Police are urging anyone who knows a victim or believes they've been a victim themselves to come forward.



Fourteen people have been arrested accused of conspiracy to rape after raids in Newcastle this morning

Thirteen addresses were searched by police looking into allegations made by vulnerable girls and women over the past few weeks.

Detectives have told Capital that more alleged victims could be involved.

Northumbria Police has launched an investigation called 'Operation Sanctuary' following the allegations.

The claims made are about a series of sexual assaults involving a number of men from a range of communities and female victims.

The investigation is at a very early stage and the priority is to protect victims and any potential victims, while forensic teams secure important evidence.

Officers are working closely with local authorities and safeguarding partners to ensure the correct support is in place for victims.

Leading the operation is Temporary Assistant Chief Constable, Gary Calvert, who said:
"This is a sensitive investigation which is at a very early stage and moving rapidly.

I understand that these types of allegations can cause the public concern and I want to reassure the community that police take crimes of this nature extremely seriously and will thoroughly investigate them. Our overarching priority is to protect any victims or potential victims and to bring any offenders to justice.

I must emphasise that the suspects do not come from one community but a range of communities and it would be very wrong to speculate until we have the full facts which may take some time. The victims include teenage girls as well as young adults.

We are working closely with our partners, in particular the local authorities, and are grateful for their co-operation. I would stress there is nothing to suggest there is any risk to the general public as we believe the victims and suspects were known to each other.

We need the support of local people to help us and I would urge people to come forward with any information they may have. Neighbourhood officers, known to their communities, will be on patrol to reassure people and anyone should feel free to speak to them about concerns they may have."

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or speak to their local neighbourhood officers who are out and about patrolling in the area. They can also ring Crimestoppers on Tel: 0800 555111. Advice and support is also available via Victim Support Tel: 0845 277 0977 or Childline Tel: 0800 1111.