Tyne & Wear

Tyne-Wear derby: Police praise fans for good behaviour

Police officers on horseback Image copyright Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Image caption The force took a more "flexible" approach to Sunday's derby

Police have praised fans at Sunday's derby match between Newcastle United and Sunderland at St James' Park.

The fixture has been plagued by violence in the past but this season relations between the sets of fans have eased and policing policy has changed.

Northumbria Police took a more "flexible" approach and moved away from "containing supporters".

Officers said there were 17 arrests on Sunday - compared to more than 100 in April 2013.

The arrests were for public order offences, assaults, breaches of banning orders and drug offences.

Police did not escort Sunderland fans from the railway station to the ground as in the past.

The Wearside club snatched a 1-0 victory with a last-minute winner from Adam Johnson.

Speaking after the match, Ch Supt Steve Neill said: "The vast majority of football fans were well behaved today and the Tyne-Wear derby was celebrated for the fantastic sporting event that it is."

Image copyright ALLSPORT/Getty Images
Image caption Adam Johnson hit a last-minute winner for Sunderland

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