Operation sanctuary: lessons to be learned

By Sam Clayden | 26 February 2018

‘Torture, inhumane and degrading treatment. The most appalling, serious abuse.’ That is how David Spicer, the barrister tasked with investigating the handling of widespread, systematic sexual exploitation in Newcastle, described the abuse of girls and women.

Under Operation Sanctuary, police have identified more than 700 victims of a predatory grooming gang in the north-east. The first eighteen people were sentenced in Newcastle in August as part of Operation Shelter, a branch of the wider investigation, but that is by no means the end of the problem.

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