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.

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.”