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".

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Tyne & Wear


Newcastle upon Tyne

Min. Night 15 °C

BBC Local Live

    More held over Operation Sanctuary 17:14:

    A total of 109 people have now been arrested by Northumbria Police over Operation Sanctuary, the investigation into abuse of vulnerable girls and women across the North East.

    Fifteen people have so far been charged.

    Exit 'not political' 17:06: Lee Johnson BBC Tees

    A Lib Dem councillor in Redcar on the departure of Ian Swales: "He wants a life... to spend more time with family. His departure isn't political."

    NUFC 'agree deal for Cabella' 16:59:

    French football journalist Julien Laurens tweets: Montpellier and Newcastle have found an agreement for the transfer of Remy Cabella. "We have a deal" said Laurent Nicollin, club's CEO.

    News on the hour 16:55:

    The top headlines at 17:00 include:

    • BBC Tees: Redcar Liberal Democrat MP Ian Swales has announced that he will stand down at the 2015 General Election for personal reasons.
    • BBC Newcastle: Jon Harle and Steph Finnon will have a round-up of the day's news.
    Swales secured largest swing 16:44: Luke Walton Political Reporter

    Ian Swales achieved the biggest Lib Dem swing of the 2010 Election against Labour. News he is stepping down is a blow to the Lib Dems' prospects of holding Redcar.

    Try to keep it clean... 16:33: Stephanie Finnon BBC Newcastle

    Jon and I will be hearing how the Newcastle Falcons are going to be keeping their rugby kits clean when they're playing at home next season - and it's not because of a new detergent.

    Listen live on BBC Newcastle..

    A co-operative future? 16:22: Mark Denten Political Correspondent, BBC North East & Cumbria

    It's been an awful year for the Co-op - rocked by financial mismanagement and scandal at its bank and now selling off pharmacies and farms.

    But on this week's Sunday Politics, I'll be hearing how the wider co-operative movement - businesses owned and run for the benefit of their members - continues to grow and is even a model advocated by the government for the future.

    Lib Dem MP to step down 16:08:

    Redcar Lib Dem MP Ian Swales has announced he will be standing down at the 2015 General Election for personal reasons.

    He said: "It has been an honour and a privilege to represent my local area in Parliament. I am proud of what I have achieved so far, especially my role in saving the steel works. I will continue to work hard for the area in my remaining time as an MP."

    Say hello to Cody 16:06:
    News on the hour 15:55:

    The top headlines at 16:00 include:

    • BBC Tees: A Middlesbrough man who was hit 30 times with a baseball bat and left for dead six months ago has been released from hospital.
    • BBC Newcastle: School children over the age of 16 in Northumberland will have to pay for school transport from September.
    Dead name bid to dodge ban 15:42: Hartlepool Mail Newspaper
    Wanted man's picture released 15:30:

    This is a photo of a man Cleveland Police would like to speak to in connection with an attempted robbery in Middlesbrough.

    CCTV image

    A man went into Premier Stores in Cargo Fleet Lane on Monday, threatened the owner with a knife and demanded money, but left empty handed.

    Memories of a 1950s wedding 15:19:

    We like a nice old wedding photo and the story of the former mayor and mayoress of Sedgefield is making us all nostalgic and watery-eyed.

    Keith and Nancy Wells' wedding

    Keith and Nancy Wells will be pleased their 60th anniversary celebrations weren't as wet as their honeymoon in 1954, where Keith remembers it poured with rain every day.

    Mystic mog's World Cup pick 15:08: Jonathan Miles BBC Newcastle

    Earlier in the World Cup Bobby the clever cat correctly predicted that Uruguay would beat England.

    Bobby the cat

    We couldn't let you watch the final on Sunday without knowing who Bobby thinks will win it. Now you'll be able to stock up with the correctly-themed beer and snacks, won't you?

    News on the hour 14:58:

    The top headlines at 15:00 include:

    On your marks, get set... 14:46:

    World and Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich has met soldiers from the Gurkha Company 2nd Infantry Training Battalion on the Gateshead Quayside.

    Stephen Kiprotich meets soldiers from the Gurkha Company 2nd Infantry Training Battalion

    The Ugandan athlete will be running alongside 160 Gurkhas on Sunday at the Bupa Great North 10k.

    Armed gang smashed up home 14:31: The Gazette Newspaper
    School transport charges agreed 14:22: Helen Richardson BBC Newcastle News Editor

    Teenagers over the age of 16 in Northumberland will have to pay for school or college transport from September.

    A meeting has just finished, and despite a late attempt by the Conservatives to stop it, the Labour-run Northumberland County Council will bring in the charges.

    People will either have to pay their own public transport costs or a flat fee of £600 a year, although there are some exceptions. The council argues it will save £2.4m a year, but critics say some families won't be able to send their children to the school or college of their choice.

    'There's no sun up in the sky' 14:09:

    The view from the Shields ferry last night doesn't look too clement but a trip across the Tyne is always a joy.

    River Tyne from Shields ferry

    Lynne sent us this picture of the "great clouds". We hope she had a brolly.

    News on the hour 13:56:

    The top headlines at 14:00 include:

    Flood protection drop-in 13:47:

    People living in Corbridge are being invited to find out about a £400,000 project to improve flood defences in the village.

    River Tyne at Corbridge

    The Environment Agency is holding a drop-in session at Corbridge Rugby Club on Tuesday from 16:00 to 19:00 with officers on-hand to explain the work and answer questions.

    Bid to stop school charges defeated 13:37: Fergus Hewison BBC Newcastle political reporter

    A Conservative motion to suspend charges for post-16 transport to school and colleges in Northumberland is defeated 34 to 30.

    Tribute to student found dead 13:31:

    Sijabuliso Nkala, who was found dead in Walker yesterday, was a student at Newcastle University and lived in Jesmond.

    Prof Barrie Mecrow, head of the school of electrical engineering, said: "This very sad news of the death of Sijabuliso Nkala, third year electrical engineering student, has come as a terrible shock to us all.

    "Affectionately known as Jabu, he was a very modest young man who spoke well of everyone. Around the School, he always had a smile on his face and a positive attitude towards academic work. He showed initiative in his approach to coursework and was extremely polite and hardworking. He was a focused individual who will be remembered for his smile and his enthusiasm."

    Rope course set for Stockton 13:20:

    A £1m four-storey high rope course like this could be built next to the Tees Barrage white water rafting centre in Stockton.

    Sky Trail

    The 18m (59ft) high Sky Trail would be the highest in the UK and it is claimed that the attraction, run by Tees Active, would generate at least £100,000 a year and bring more people to the borough. A decision will be made next Thursday by the council's Cabinet.

    Flights right on time, almost 13:10:

    A record number of scheduled flights at UK airports were on time in the first part of the year, says the Civil Aviation Authority.

    Newcastle airport

    Its figures show 84% of these flights at major airports, including Newcastle, were on time, compared with 78% for the same period last year.

    The average delay was nine minutes, compared with 13 minutes in 2013.

    News on the hour 12:59:

    The top headlines at 13:00 include:

    Cycle path death 'not suspicious' 12:45:

    Police have now said there are no suspicious circumstances in the death of Sijabuliso Nkala, who died in Walker yesterday.

    Officers said the 24-year-old suffered a puncture wound to the chest but now believe there was no third-party involvement in the death.

    Detective Supt Roger Ford said: "My sympathies are with the family and friends of Mr Nikala at this time. I would also like to thank all the people who contacted police following our appeal for information yesterday."

    Man admits killing barber 12:33: The Gazette Newspaper

    Craig Conway has pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of Middlesbrough barber Simon Bennett (pictured).

    Simon Bennett

    Mr Conway, 30, admitted manslaughter but denied murder and is expected to stand trial in November.

    Lego appeal hits £80,000 12:22: Russell Ward BBC Newcastle

    Durham's fundraising Lego cathedral has now reached £80,000. Hear more on BBC Radio Newcastle.

    Durham Lego cathedral
    VIDEO: Lifeboat emergency cash call 12:10:

    The RNLI crew at Amble in Northumberland is trying to raise £200,000 for a new vessel.

    Amble RNLI's current lifeboat

    Its current lifeboat is 25 years old.

    Cycle path victim named 11:58:

    A man found dead in Newcastle has been named as 24-year-old Newcastle University student Sijabuliso Nkala from Jesmond. Police are treating his death as suspicious.

    Officer at cycle path

    He was found with a puncture wound to the chest at The Oval in Walker on Thursday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

    News on the hour 11:55:

    The top headlines at 12:00 include:

    NUFC eyeing Janmaat bid 11:50: The Journal Newspaper
    Multimillion-pound jobs boost 11:41:

    There are high hopes for a new £9m centre to support enterprise and innovation in the North East.

    Artist's impression of Sunderland Enterprise and Innovation Hub

    Sunderland University says its new hub could attract 120 businesses and create up to 650 jobs - though 400 of those would be over the "longer term".

    Bus fare 'could be £1,000' 11:31: Fergus Hewison BBC Newcastle political reporter

    At a meeting about Northumberland County Council's plans to charge over-16s for school and college transport, one mother has said sending her daughter to school on public transport could now cost her £1,000.

    Strike a pose... 11:21: Jonathan Miles BBC Newcastle

    Ahead of a big event in Newcastle city centre tomorrow and Sunday, I've been "expressing myself" through the medium of dance...

    It's all part of The Big Dance Weekend coming our way. You can watch the video here.

    Jonathan Miles
    Give us your feedback 11:10:

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

    News on the hour 10:59:

    The top headlines at 11:00 include:

    Show me the way to go home... 10:51:

    More details are coming out this morning about a government geography blunder we told you about yesterday.

    Google map

    After first saying Northumberland was in the North West, it turns out the Department for Transport also thought Warrington was in the North East.

    Police searching for flasher 10:42: The Gazette Newspaper

    Police are still hunting for a man who exposed himself to two young girls in Coulby Newham, Teesside.

    Head faces retrial on child sex allegations 10:30:

    A County Durham head teacher will face a retrial over allegations she had sex with a 13-year-old boy in the late 1980s.

    Anne Lakey, 54, had denied four counts of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child. A jury at Durham Crown Court last week failed to reach any verdicts.

    Anne Lakey

    Mrs Lakey, a married mother-of-one from Stanley, was a history teacher in Sunderland at the time of the allegations. Prosecutor Caroline Goodwin said the retrial will start on 19 January.

    Meeting 'has cost £80,000' 10:19: Fergus Hewison BBC Newcastle political reporter

    The Labour leader of Northumberland County Council, Grant Davey, claims today's special meeting on post-16 transport charges has cost £80,000. He added he hopes the £600 charge for school and college transport will stay "as it is".

    Girl out of coma after smash 10:09: Newcastle Chronicle

    A four-year-old girl is shining brighter than ever just weeks after coming out of a coma from a car crash which almost killed her.

    News on the hour 09:59:

    The top headlines at 10:00 include:

    School travel cuts 'could save £2.5m' 09:50: BBC Newcastle

    From September, Northumberland County Council wants to start charging students and pupils who are over 16 to travel to and from school and college. It could save the Labour-run authority almost £2.5m a year.

    There are exceptions, but many students will have to pay for public transport or pay a flat fee of £600 a year. But the council has been forced to call an extraordinary meeting to hear from those against the plans.

    School transport charges protest 09:40: Fergus Hewison BBC Newcastle political reporter

    I'm at a protest against plans to charge for post-16 transport to school and college in Northumberland.


    No filming is allowed, but imminent legislation will change this.

    Top Headlines
    Arsenal set for NUFC moves 09:30:

    Arsenal have often had a Gallic flavour, but now it seem that's set to increase with bids for current and former Newcastle United players.

    BBC Sport reports they are still on course to sign French right-back Mathieu Debuchy, 28, from the Magpies, plus The Independent says they are also in negotiations for the £8m transfer of striker Loic Remy, who's now back at QPR.

    Newcastle striker Loic Remy

    There's more transfer talk in the Gossip Column.

    Nice and easy does it 09:19:

    There doesn't seem to be much to get commuters stressed this morning. Traffic on the roads is mostly running smoothly, as is the Tyne and Wear Metro.

    You can check out the latest on the BBC Travel News website.

    Weight surgery 'last resort' 09:10:

    A specialist at Newcastle University says surgery is effective in tackling type 2 diabetes but should be a last resort.

    Draft guidelines from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence say there should be an expansion of weight loss surgery in England to tackle an epidemic of the condition.

    Professor Roy Taylor says: "We've been able to show that this is purely a matter of reducing the body fat - specifically the fat in liver and pancreas. Now this can be done with diet. Some people are able to do this, and if they can do it, then that's by far the best way, even though this is quite a safe operation. You really don't want an operation unless you can avoid it."

    News on the hour 08:59:

    The top stories at 09:00 include

    North Sea oil 'worth less' 08:51: David Rhodes Politics Reporter, BBC North East and Cumbria

    This will be of interest to the 50,000 North East England oil and gas workers. North Sea oil 'worth billions less than expected'.

    On the air right now 08:40: BBC Newcastle

    In a few minutes we'll be hearing from the transplant co-ordinator at the Freeman Hospital about the remarkable story of a family who donated their son's heart to a man from North Shields - and then met him and felt it beating five years later.

    Break is as good as a rest 08:32:

    Olympic lightweight double sculls champion Kat Copeland has said a break from competition helped to keep her focused on the Rio Games in 2016.

    Kat Copeland

    Ashington-born Copeland, who trained at Tees Rowing Club, took the sabbatical after winning gold at London 2012 with now retired team-mate Sophie Hosking.

    Wonga no longer as church ends interest 08:21:

    The Church of England has ended its investment in Newcastle United sponsor and payday lender Wonga.

    Wonga logo

    The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, last year pledged to try to put Wonga out of business, but it later emerged that the church had indirectly staked about £75,000 in the company.

    Fire calls during strikes 08:11:

    Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service was called out 23 times during yesterday's strike action, bosses have announced.

    There were 10 incidents involving alarms, two building fires, one road accident and 10 rubbish fires. Cover was provided by people who were successful in interviews but for whom there were no vacancies, as well as former military and specialist personnel.

    Chief Fire Officer Tom Capeling said: "The FBU is planning further discontinuous strike action over an eight-day period between Monday 14 and Monday 21 July, so I am asking the public and business owners to continue to take extra care with fire safety during these latest periods of strike action."

    Cloudy with showers 08:06: Kawser Quamer Presenter, BBC Weather

    After a cloudy start there could be one or two showers before becoming dry later.

    Weather map

    That could will keep temperatures down a degree or two at 20C (68F). Check the forecast where you live.

    Good morning 08:00: Francesca Williams BBC News

    Welcome to BBC Local Live this morning. I'll be bringing you news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

    If you'd like us to feature your comments or pictures, send them to us by email, tweet us @BBCNewsNE or join our Facebook page.



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.