Wear-Tyne derby: Officers make 20 arrests

Newcastle fans and police Visiting Newcastle United fans were given a police escort to the stadium

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Police have praised the majority of football fans who attended Sunday's Wear-Tyne derby in Sunderland.

Officers made 20 arrests, including seven in a pre-planned raid before the game at the Stadium of Light. Most were for public order offences.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said smoke canisters were among items seized during the raids across the North East.

Hundreds of officers were on duty before the game, in which Sunderland beat Newcastle United 2-1.

The police operation saw thousands of Newcastle fans escorted on to special trains and coaches before and after the game.

Pitch invasion

In Sunderland, officers visited bars and pubs throughout the day.

Sunderland fan Some home fans wore horse masks after a police horse was punched by a Newcastle fan last season

Ch Supt Steve Neill said: "The vast majority of fans were well behaved and enjoyed the derby for the great occasion that it is.

"Twenty arrests out of a crowd of that size [50,000] is very low. 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."

Steven Fletcher opened the scoring for the home side before Mathieu Debuchy's equaliser.

Some Sunderland fans then invaded the pitch to celebrate Fabio Borini's winner.

The game was the first between the two sides since widespread violence followed a match at St James' Park in April.

More than 100 Newcastle fans were arrested and Bud the horse, from West Yorkshire's mounted section, was punched.

Barry Rogerson, 45, from Bedlington, was jailed on Thursday for the attack.

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