Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's a Better Day off the Pitch as Fans Are Praised

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's a Better Day off the Pitch as Fans Are Praised

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Brown Reporter m.brown@ncjmedia.co.uk

POLICE praised the majority of North East football fans after the Wear-Tyne derby passed without a repeat of April's riots.

Northumbria Police claim just 20 arrests were made in connection with the match - seven of which came in pre-dawn raids on homes across Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Durham.

After the match, despite thousands of disappointed Magpies fans pouring out of the pubs and clubs onto the streets of Newcastle City Centre, there was little to no trouble. And as the evening progressed the atmosphere felt more like a bank holiday Sunday, with many supporters staying in town and more putting their glad rags on and heading out in an attempt to drown their sorrows.

"The vast majority of fans were well behaved today and enjoyed the Wear-Tyne derby for the great occasion that it is," chief superintendent Steve Neill said.

"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.

"Twenty arrests out of crowd of that size is very low and I'm pleased that the vast majority of fans who attended 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 spirit. 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. …

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