Tyne & Wear

Four men charged after Tyne-Wear derby match

Police
Image caption A heavy police presence contained fans in the city centre

Four people have been charged following the Tyne-Wear derby at St James' Park on Saturday.

Northumbria Police made three arrests in a planned operation before the match, five at the ground, two after the match and one on Sunday.

Two have been charged with being drunk and disorderly and two with going onto the pitch.

Smoke grenades were thrown before the match, in which Sunderland beat Newcastle 3-0.

It was the first time since 1923 that Sunderland had achieved three derby wins in a row.

A heavy police presence kept the two sets of fans apart.

The force praised the majority of fans and said plans to transport some visitors in free coaches and escort others through the city centre had been successful.

Image caption Police said they were investigating the use of pyrotechnics and smoke grenades

Ch Supt Steve Neill said: "I'd like to praise supporters from both clubs - they worked well with officers on the ground, were extremely patient and good natured and treated the day in the best spirit."

The number of arrests was "extremely low" considering the capacity crowd of more than 50,000, he added.

"The few people who chose to pose a threat to public safety were dealt with swiftly by police."

Ahead of the match, a coalition of Newcastle and Sunderland supporters said neither side wanted a repeat of the disorder outside the ground after the fixture last April, which led to dozens of arrests.

One Newcastle fan, 45-year-old Barry Rogerson from Bedlington, was jailed for a year for punching a police horse during the disturbances on the day of last April's game.

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