POLICE investigating allegation of a sex ring operating in the North East have now made a total of 54 arrests, including one in South Tyneside.
Northumbria Police’s Operation Sanctuary into the sexual exploitation of vulnerable females has now been running for a month.
About 80 women and girls have been identified as being vulnerable to abuse.
Police are continuing to visit businesses across the region, including taxi firms, hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and takeaways to ask for help in investigating the alleged sex ring.
Deputy chief constable Steve Ashman said: “Operation Sanctuary is progressing, and we are acting on, and following up, all the information that we are receiving from the public.
“We need the public to assist us with the investigation, and I’d urge people to be vigilant and pass on any information they think could help us with our inquiries.”
Anyone with any information or concerns can contact police on 101 ext 69191, quoting Operation Sanctuary, or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Advice is also available from Childline on 0800 1111.