Police chief hails rival fans’ behaviour as only ten arrests made at Wear-Tyne derby

Sunderland Newcastle derby.
Sunderland Newcastle derby.

Police have praised Sunderland and Newcastle United fans for their behaviour at the Wear-Tyne derby.

Officers said supporters had acted in ‘exemplary’ fashion with only ten arrests made on the day.

During the matchday operation there were only a small number of isolated incidents with ten arrests for offences including affray, possession of alcohol in a sports ground, being drunk while entering a sports ground, throwing missiles in a sports ground, possession of a firework or flare at a sports event, going into the playing area of a football match, affray and possession of a controlled drug.

Before the game, police met with licencees from across the Northumbria force area and voluntarily agreed to not serve alcohol before 9am, which officers said helped to keep disorder to a minimum.

Match commander Chief Superintendent Steve Neill said: “The fans have again shown today why the Wear-Tyne derby is up there with the best in the country.

“It has been a day filled with passion but it has lost the poison that has been associated with this game in the past - that is a testament to football fans across the North East.

“The vast majority of fans have behaved impeccably and allowed our officers to police the matchday with a smile on their faces.

“I would like to acknowledge the work of both football clubs who have been diligent in their preparation to make this fixture as safe and successful as it has been.

“This was very much a partnership operation and I would also like to extend a big thank you to all those who helped with the planning operation.

“Our policing operation went well and I would also like to extend a big thank you to all of the officers involved today who again displayed incredible professionalism on what can be a very tense day.”

“Ten arrests out of crowd of nearly 50,000 is extremely low and I’m pleased that the fans who attended today were clearly there to support their team and not interested in causing trouble.

“I’d like to praise supporters who worked well with officers on the ground and were extremely patient and good natured on what can be a very tense day.

“Public safety is always our number one priority during any football match and the very few people who let themselves down with poor behaviour were dealt with swiftly by police.”