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Twenty arrests connected to Tyne-Wear derby
POLICE praised the majority of fans for the behaviour after the Tyne-Wear derby passed off relatively peacefully.
Twenty people were arrested in connection with the match that saw Sunderland beat rivals Newcastle 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.
Thirteen people were held for public order offences throughout the day and seven were arrested as part of pre-planned operation early this morning. (Sunday, October 27)
Officers said most fans had been well-behaved and hailed the operation to prevent disorder, which marred the fixture in April, a success.
Chief Superintendent Steve Neill said: "The vast majority of fans enjoyed the Tyne-Wear 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.”
Officers, working with British Transport Police, helped get more than 1,500 people on to special Metro and Rail services at Central Station in Newcastle.
Supporter coaches, arranged by Newcastle United, transported around 1,000 away fans to the game.
In Sunderland, officers were out early visiting bars and pubs and speaking to fans and police said there were very few incidents of disorder and fans responded well.
After full time Sunderland fans left the stadium quickly and without incident and Newcastle fans remained in the North Stand for around 20 minutes as part of a pre-arranged holdback.
Supporter coaches got back to St James' Park safely and around 1,500 people were escorted to St Peter's Metro station where they boarded trains and Metros back to Newcastle.
Ch Supt Neill said: “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."
At around 5am this morning officers executed search warrants in Shieldfield, Lemington, Birtley, Sunderland and Peterlee and arrested seven men on suspicion of conspiring to commit violent disorder and breaching football banning order conditions. During the searches officers seized a number of smoke canisters.
The seven, aged 18, 19, 20, 26, 51, 57, 57, were held in custody while enquiries were made.
The last meeting of the two clubs in April resulted in wide-spread violence across Newcastle City Centre and the arrest of more than 90 fans for public order offences.
These included Barry Rogerson, 45, of Bedlington, Northumberland, who was jailed for 12 months and banned from football grounds after he admitted punching a police horse called Bud in the face during the derby day violence.
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