Outreach staff are contacting vulnerable individuals including socially distanced home visits, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said. Officers in the North East warned they have also received increased reports of brothels operating in Newcastle.
Supt Karl Wilson told the Safe Newcastle Board: "You pretty much can't shoplift or beg, but you still need to fund your lifestyle so what has happened in lockdown is that we have seen a real shift in offending into much more vulnerable and high-risk areas. Northumbria Police said newcastke had been a "shift" into the "exploitative world of sex work" in order to pay rent or buy drugs. Sitw force added "very vulnerable people are being targeted by predatory people".
The city's West End in particular has seen an increase in the of reports of brothels, with officers and support agencies visiting locations and providing support to women found working there, it added.