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Northumbria Police have charged 20 people with sexual offences as part of Operation Sanctuary

These 20 were the single largest batch of charges Northumbria Police have ever presented to a court. Brings the total number charged to 31. Not 1 name listed is a British name, the vast majority look to be Muslims names.


Twenty more people have been charged with sexual offences as part of police’s Operation Sanctuary probe.

The charges follow the 13-month investigation into allegations of offences committed against vulnerable women and girls across the North East.

So far, 31 people have been charged as part of the operation and the latest charges relate to 12 victims, aged between 13 and 25.


Deputy Chief Constable Steve Ashman, who is leading the investigation, said today marked a significant milestone in the operation.

He said: “So far, it’s the largest single number of charges that we have placed before a court. It’s a result of 13 months of meticulous investigation by a dedicated team of officers and social workers.”

Deputy Chief Constable Ashman said the investigation was launched when two girls made a number of allegations in a police station.

He added: “Today marks a milestone in this operation. Since the first allegations were made over a year ago we have painstakingly left no stone unturned in our efforts to investigate all allegations.


“To date, this part of the investigation has involved speaking to over 100 potential complainants, a dozen of whom have been identified as victims in relation to today’s charges.

“This has been done carefully with support from other professionals and I must commend them all for their bravery in working with us.


“Operation Sanctuary will not end. It is a wide ranging investigation into many different crimes of a sexual nature against vulnerable women and girls. Today’s charges are just one element of this.

“I would encourage anyone who wants to report such crimes to police to do so. They will be believed and they will be supported.

“We have had tremendous support from the public and businesses and we need this to continue. I would urge people to be vigilant and if something doesn’t look or feel right I would ask them to contact us.


Below is a screenshot of the data provided by Northumberland Council on the numbers of minority religions in the area.  

Northumberland Minority Religions 2011 Census

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