Police praise pubgoers after just 20 Wear-Tyne derby day arrests are made

Police have praised the majority of North East football fans after the Wear-Tyne derby day passed without major incident.

Officers from Northumbria Police were out early on Sunday morning, visiting pubs in both Newcastle and Sunderland and speaking to supporters.

And while despite tens of thousands headed to the Stadium of Light,  many by public transport, and thousands more watched the game in their local, just 20 arrests were made throughout the day – more than a third of which came in pre-dawn raids.

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 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.”

Despite Newcastle United losing 2-1 to their bitter rivals there was no repeat of April’s ugly scenes when many supposed Newcastle United supporters – many of whom had not been in the ground for the match – clashed with police on St James’ Boulevard, Strawberry Place, Westgate Road, and near Central Station in Newcastle, hurling masonry, bottles and flares, charging police horse lines and burning wheelie bins.

“Twenty arrests out of crowd of that size is very low. 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,” he added.