SEVENTEEN people have been arrested as part of a crackdown on crime and anti-social behaviour, which includes aiming fireworks at emergency services on Bonfire Night.

Operation Ridley was launched to tackle disorder in Sunderland after a spate of incidents in the city late last year.

The arrests have been made for a variety of offences including public order offences, arson, discharge of fireworks in public places, drugs supply, fraud and evasion of custom duty.

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Over 70,000 fake cigarettes smuggled from abroad have been recovered by police along with two cars and a motorbike used in criminal activity.

Around £3,000 believed to be from the proceeds of crime has also been seized.

Sunderland City Councillor Harry Trueman said: “We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour and criminal activity of any form, and do everything we can working with our community safety partners and the people of Sunderland to take action against those responsible.”