Super-Fans: Police praise Sunderland and Newcastle supporters

Derby Day - Sunderland v Newcastle at the Stadium of Light - Sunderland fans arriving at the stadium in high spirits.
Derby Day - Sunderland v Newcastle at the Stadium of Light - Sunderland fans arriving at the stadium in high spirits.
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THERE were just 20 arrests during Wear-Tyne derby day.

A heavy police presence around the Stadium of Light and on the transport system ensured trouble was kept to a minimum during the game, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Minor damage was caused to Metro trains taking Newcastle fans between Central Station and St Peter’s.

Police said fireworks were let off as the 2,800 Newcastle fans were escorted in and out of the North Stand.

Six of the 15 arrested on the day were taken into custody hours before the kick off, after raids at 5am at addresses in Durham and Gateshead. Five more were arrested last night in the city centre.

Inquiries are under way after a report of racist language being used inside the ground against a Newcastle player.

Chief Superintendent Steve Neill said: “The vast majority of fans were well behaved and enjoyed the Wear/Tyne derby for the great occasion that it is.

“The policing operation went well and I’d like to commend the professionalism of all those involved.

“This was very much a partnership operation and the degree of planning that went into this large-scale operation ensured that genuine fans and families were able to enjoy the game in an atmosphere free of intimidation or violence.

“I’m pleased that the vast majority of fans who attended today were clearly there to enjoy the football and were not interested in causing trouble.

“I’d like to praise supporters from both clubs – they worked well with officers on the ground, were extremely patient and good natured and enjoyed the day in the best spirit.

“The holdback went very smoothly and supporters worked really well.

“Public safety is always our number one priority during any football match and the few people who chose to pose a threat to public safety were dealt with swiftly by police.”

Those from Sunderland who were arrested were:

l A 41-year-old man on suspicion of conspiring to commit violent disorder;

l A 55-year-old on suspicion of breaching his football banning order;

l A 29-year-old on suspicion of possessing a controlled drug;

l A 26-year-old on suspicion of using threatening behaviour

Others included a 28-year-old Seaham man arrested on suspicion of being drunk in a sports ground; a 26-year-old man on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly at St Peter’s Metro station; a 17-year-old North Tyneside youth on suspicion of fraud at the Stadium of Light; a 38-year-old man on suspicion of disorderly conduct at the stadium; a 46-year-old Durham man on suspicion of assault.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham