Northumbria Police have praised Sunderland and Newcastle United fans for their behaviour in this season just ended.
The Police particularly happy with the relatively low number of arrests amongst the two fanbases.
Northumbria Police revealing that it made just 80 arrests in total.
That being split between 43 from Newcastle and 37 from Sunderland, plus they handed out eight banning orders for bad behaviour.
Two major factors that helped…
Firstly, that there were no derby matches this time.
Secondly, the fact that Sunderland ended up with crowds (who actually attended games) that were only around a third of the size of Newcastle United’s, makes the number of arrests for NUFC fans even more impressive.
Northumbria Police credit the low figures as part of a longer-term effort whereby officers have worked closely with fans of both clubs since 2014 as part of the Football Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT).
Encouraging interaction with supporters of both clubs, with various meetings arranged.
They ave heralded the initiative as a huge success, with in the last four years since the team was formed, disorder among our region’s football fans has seen a steady decline.
Now the head of the Football NPT has praised supporters of both teams – Sergeant Chris Blyth:
“It has been a very successful season from a policing point of view, and that has a lot to do with the supporters themselves.
“They have engaged with us, told us how they want to be policed and behaved themselves throughout the season. That has made it easy for us.
“There may have been contrasting seasons on the pitch, but in the stands there have been very few issues, and everyone has always been in good spirits.
“Our officers have worked hard to embed themselves with supporters, and at the end of the day they are football fans themselves who love being part of that atmosphere.
“They are there because they want people to enjoy the match day experience without getting themselves in trouble or putting other people at risk.
“We will be working hard throughout the summer to prepare ourselves for a new season with some new away days pencilled into the calendar.
“Our officers will be looking forward to making some new friends again next year and seeing some familiar faces out supporting their team with passion and pride.”