Chi comments on Operation Sanctuary

Chi Onwurah MP for Newcastle Central was shocked and saddened by reports of investigations into serious sexual assaults which include young and vulnerable people in the West End of Newcastle.

 Chi said:

“ I have spoken to the police about their investigations into these very serious  reports of sexual abuse.

“ I have been assured that the priority is to support all victims.

“ All the safeguarding agencies are working with the Police to help every victim of  these horrific  allegations.

She has been assured that the police are working with local communities to ensure any victims are identified and supported as well as all perpetrators are brought to justice.

 Ms Onwurah is pleased at the emphasis by the police and other agencies on taking all allegations very seriously as well as working with and within communities.

 She is urging anyone with information or concerns to contact the Police or herself.

 Chi raised the issue of police resources in Parliament during Home Office questions yesterday afternoon:

“ This morning, Northumbria police arrested eight people as part of Operation Sanctuary, an   investigation into horrific allegations of sexual abuse of looked-after young girls and  other vulnerable victims in the west end of Newcastle.

“  Police have assured me that they are working with safeguarding agencies and local communities to protect the victims and pursue the perpetrators, but that very police station in the west end of Newcastle is to close as part of the £67 million cuts and we have seen  a 7% rise in total crime in the region over the past 12 months.

“  Will the Home Secretary give me a commitment that Northumbria will have the resources                         it needs to pursue this critical investigation?



Notes for Editors:

1)    Chi Onwurah asked the Home Secretary for assurances about funding for Northumbria Police:

2)    Northumbria Police has 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.

3)    Anyone with information or concerns can contact police on 101 or speak to their local neighbourhood officers who are out and about patrolling in the area.

4)    They can also ring   Crimestoppers on Tel: 0800 555111

5)    Advice and support is also available via Victim Support Tel: 0845 277 0977 or  Childline Tel: 0800 1111

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