Police investigating suspected sex attack in Sunderland

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POLICE are appealing for witnesses to a suspected sex attack in Sunderland.

Officers were called at 3.35am on Saturday after a 17-year-old girl was found outside Arizona in the city centre.

It is thought the girl may have been the victim of a suspected rape or sexual offence.

Police are keen to speak to anyone who helped a female look for a mobile phone in a lane next to the Arizona bar between 3am and 3.30am.

It is thought a taxi driver in a red or burgundy hatchback stopped to offer help and police are keen for him to get in contact.

Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth, said: “We take incidents of this nature extremely seriously and I’d like to offer my reassurance extensive enquiries are being carried out to establish what happened. In addition, specially trained officers are supporting the victim to make sure she gets the right help and support, whether this be from police or other agencies.

“We know incidents like this cause concern among our communities and extra officers will be in the area, both to carry out enquiries and to offer reassurance.”

A man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 220 100514 or Crimestoppers on 0800 55 111.