Operation Sanctuary 'rape plot' arrests total 27

A total of 27 people have now been arrested on Tyneside on suspicion of conspiracy to rape.

The investigation, Operation Sanctuary, concerns allegations of sexual assault involving teenage girls and young women - some in local authority care.

Since Monday, 27 houses in the Newcastle, Gateshead and South Tyneside areas have been searched.

One man arrested earlier continues to be held, but 24 other men and two women have since been bailed.

Northumbria Police said those alleged to have been involved were from "a range of communities".

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