Operation 'Shop a Yob' points finger of blame

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An operation to identify almost 100 unknown soccer hooligans from spy camera pictures was hailed a success last night after a flood of calls to police.

The "Shop a Yob" ploy to round up louts involved in mass disorder after Newcastle United failed to become Premiership champions on 5 May resulted in mothers pointing the finger at sons and young men naming their brothers.

Sixteen of those clearly pictured in the "gallery of shame", published in night's Newcastle Evening Chronicle didn't even wait to be reported.

They either walked into police stations to give themselves up or phoned the special Crimestoppers line for advice about what they should do in response to the publication.

A further 60 - three-quarters of the men pictured - had been potentially identified by the time the Crimestoppers line closed down at 9pm last night.

Det Sgt Alan Bell, who was monitoring calls, said at least 15 calls were from men who spotted their own faces."Of course they are not all admitting they were up to something. They are saying yes, they were there, but they weren't actually doing anything unlawful."