POLICE have arrested five people after a match-day brawl outside a Sunderland bar.
Officers made the arrests at addresses in Sunderland, Chester-le-Street and South Shields after an incident on Saturday January 12 – the day of the Sunderland v West Ham match.
The incident, which is believed to have been prearranged, involved both Sunderland and West Ham supporters.
It happened at about 2.15pm, before the match kicked off, outside Revolution Bar at Low Row in Sunderland city centre.
Since the incident police have been working to identify those involved and today made arrests on suspicion of violent disorder in connection with the incident.
They have also released CCTV images of 19 people who police need to trace in connection with the incident.
Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth, Sunderland Area Commander, said: “This morning a number of arrests were made in connection with disorder which took place before the Sunderland versus West Ham match at the Stadium of Light last month.
“The arrests have taken place across Sunderland, South Shields and Chester le Street and these people are currently in custody being questioned.
“Tens of thousands of people were at that match and the overwhelming majority of football fans were there to support their team and have an enjoyable afternoon out.
“However, anyone taking part in violence or disorder either before, during, or after football matches will not be tolerated and this action demonstrates the tough stance we will take on anyone suspected of being involved in such behaviour.
“We’ll continue to do everything possible to ensure the safety of football fans and the rest of the general public.”
Officers investigating the disorder have also released CCTV images of people - believed to be Sunderland supporters – they need to trace in connection with it.
Chief Superintendent Blyth added: “Behaviour such as this will not be tolerated and, by working alongside us, fans can help us to prevent those involved from attending matches.
“I’d appeal for the help of the public to identify those people in the images below who we need to trace and speak to about the disorder which took place before the match.”
Anyone who recognises themselves in the images is asked to contact police at the earliest opportunity, and anyone who knows the identify of anyone in the images is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.