POLICE are praising Newcastle and Sunderland fans after revealing they have made just ten arrests so far on derby day.
Officers said three of the arrests were pre-planned, and have thanked the majority of fans for their good behaviour.
Police are now investigating a “small number of incidents” involving fireworks and smoke canisters set off before the match.
Operations Commander Chief Superintendent Steve Neill said: “The vast majority of fans were well behaved today and the Tyne-Wear derby was celebrated for the fantastic sporting event that it is.
“I’d like to praise supporters from both clubs – they worked well with officers on the ground, were extremely patient and good natured and treated the day in the best spirit.
“The holdback went very smoothly and supporters worked really well with police and stewards.
“At the current time, there have been just ten arrests, with three of those pre-planned and taking place early on Saturday morning. Out of a capacity crowd of more than 50,000 people this is extremely low.”
The match saw a large policing presence across Newcastle and Sunderland as a capacity crowd attended St James’ Park for the derby game, on February 1.
It came after last year’s Tyne-Wear derby was marred by ugly scenes as fans clashed with police.
One Newcastle fan was famously caught on camera punching a police horse.
Northumbria Police said the force and football clubs had worked to help keep the peace.
Chief Supt Neill said: “Early on Saturday morning officers, working with British Transport Police, we helped get more than 1,500 people on to special Metro and rail services in Sunderland.
Free supporter coaches, arranged by Sunderland AFC, transported around 800 away fans to the game.
There were some reports of a small number of smoke canisters and pyrotechnics being set prior to the match, outside of the ground, and police are making enquiries into these incidents.
After full time Newcastle fans left the stadium, there were some reports of pyrotechnics being thrown, but no injuries were reported. Sunderland fans remained in the stadium for around 15 minutes as part of a pre-arranged holdback.
Chief Supt Neil said Supporter coaches got back to the Stadium of Light safely and the rest were escorted to Newcastle Central Station from St James’ Park where they boarded trains and Metros back to Sunderland.
After all Sunderland supporters had left the city there was an isolated incident in the Bigg Market involving a small group of youths, which was swiftly dealt with by officers.
It’s not believed those involved had been at the match, or were connected to the match in any way.
Just ten arrests were made on the morning, during the match and immediately afterwards, with three of these pre-arranged and taking place this morning. The arrests were for mainly public order offences.