POLICE investigating a sex attack on a 12-year-old girl made a series of arrests over the weekend.

The girl reported that she was the victim of an alleged sexual assault by a number of people known to her in Eston, near Middlesbrough, on Thursday.

Cleveland Police would not say exactly how many they had arrested but they were all under 16 years old – and understood to be around the same age as the girl.

No-one has been charged and all have been released on police bail.

Last night Councillor Steven Goldswain, who represents Eston on Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and who also chairs the council’s community safety board, said police had contacted him to ask councillors for their help.

“There hasn’t really been any tension in the community,” he said. “But there hasn’t been much information out about it yet.

“Local ward councillors from a number of different wards are fully aware and we are supporting the police in their investigation in damping down public concern.

“We are monitoring the situation in the community. Basically we want to ensure that rumours don’t get out of hand and misinformation doesn’t get spread around.

“This wasn’t a random attack, I am led to believe – it isn’t like people should be concerned for their safety while out and about. We believe it was an isolated incident.”

One woman who lives close to where the alleged attack took place said she had not been aware of anything until police knocked on her door while carrying out local inquiries on Friday.