Fans praised by police after only ‘handful of arrests’ at Wear-Tees derby

Sunderland fans during today's game at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland fans during today's game at the Stadium of Light.

Police tasked with keeping trouble at bay during the Wear-Tees derby say only a “handful of arrests” were made.

A crowd of 43,515 attended the game between Sunderland and Middlesbrough at the Stadium of Light, where a heavy police presence was noticeable and Northumbria Police’s helicopter flying overhead.

Superintendent Sarah Pitt, silver commander for the operation, said: “This was the first match of the season and there was a lot of excitement surrounding this fixture.

“We enjoyed being part of that and there was a positive atmosphere among both sets of supporters, both before and after the game.

“There were a handful of arrests, but that is not unusual with football matches, and the vast majority of supporters behaved impeccably.

“We want to praise both sets of fans for celebrating the passion of North East football and setting the mark for the season ahead.”