Police praise derby fans
Dated: 21 Oct 2012
Police are praising the majority of North East football fans after a successful derby day operation.
The match saw a large policing presence across Sunderland and Newcastle as almost 50,000 supporters attended the Stadium of Light for the derby game.
Early on Sunday morning officers, working with British Transport Police, helped get more than 1500 people on to special Metro and Rail services at Central Station in Newcastle. Supporters were in good nature and worked well with officers.
Supporter coaches, arranged by Newcastle United, transported around 1000 away fans to the game.
In Sunderland, officers were out from early Sunday morning, visiting bars and pubs and speaking to fans - again there was very few incidents of disorder and fans responded well to officers.
During the 90 minutes there were very few incidents that police needed to deal with inside the stadium.
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 1500 people were escorted to St Peter's Metro station where they boarded trains and Metros back to Newcastle.
In total 15 people were arrested** throughout the day - six of which were during a pre-planned operation carried out at around 5am on Sunday morning.
The majority of the other arrests were for public order type offences.
There was one report of racist language having been used by a supporter in one area of the stadium - enquiries into this report are ongoing.
Chief Supt Steve Neill said: "The vast majority of fans were well behaved today and enjoyed the Wear Tyne 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.
"15 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.
"I'd like to praise supporters from both clubs - they worked well with officers on the ground, were extremely patient and good natured and enjoyed the day in the best sprit. The holdback went very smoothly and supporters worked really well with police and stewards.
"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."
Info on 15 Arrests ** Correct as of 5:30pm.
1-6 A pre-planned operation carried out at around 5am this morning saw officers arrest six people on suspicion of drugs offences.
They are currently is police custody.
7) A 41-year-old Sunderland man arrested on suspicion of conspiring to commit violent disorder.
8) A 55-year-old Sunderland man arrested on suspicion of breaching his football banning order.
9) A 26-year-old man arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly at St Peter's Metro station
10) A 17-year-old North Tyneside youth arrested on suspicion of fraud at the Stadium of Light
11) A 29-year-old Sunderland man arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled drug
12) A 38-year-old man arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct (causing alarm/distress) at the SoL
13) A 46-year-old Durham man arrested on suspicion of assault
14) A 26-year-old Sunderland man arrested on suspicion of using threatening behaviour
15) A 28-year-old Seaham man arrested on suspicion of being drunk in a sports ground.