Police call for Tyne-Wear derby calm

Latest news from Northumbria Police.
Latest news from Northumbria Police.

Northumbria Police is asking Sunderland and Newcastle fans to help make this weekend’s derby a success.

The match, which takes place on Easter Sunday, April 5, at 4pm, will see a capacity crowd at the Stadium of Light and Northumbria Police is urging football fans to help make the occasion a successful and safe day.

There will be extra police officers on duty for the match, based at key points around Sunderland and Newcastle before, during and after the game. They are there to help supporters on match day and ensure the safety of everyone attending.

Roads in Sunderland city centre are expected to be busy on derby day and all fans are being advised to plan their travel arrangements for the game in advance. Newcastle supporters are encouraged to use the club supporters’ buses, and those travelling by either train or Metro are also urged to give themselves extra time for their journeys. Roads closed on derby day will be Sheepfolds North and Sheepfolds Road, near to the St Peter’s Metro station.

Operations Commander Chief Superintendent Steve Neill said: “The majority of supporters on derby day are there to enjoy the game and soak up the occasion that is the Wear-Tyne derby. We have policed many derby games in the past and we know they are passionate occasions for both sets of supporters and the majority of fans enjoy the day safely and peacefully.

“There are a minority who are intent on causing problems and our message to those people is that trouble will not be tolerated and anyone who puts the safety of supporters at risk on the day will be dealt with swiftly and firmly. Our role is to help supporters enjoy their day and ensure that the match passes safely for everyone attending.”

Following consultation with supporters from both clubs, the security barriers, used at previous derby matches, to help guide away supporters safely to and from the ground will be in place on derby day. However, they will be left open and not be used unless there is a need for officers to use them. One barrier will be closed at the North Stand for health and safety reasons.

Ch Supt Neill added: “After the reverse fixture in December, we met supporters and received positive feedback on our policing approach to the game. We have decided to again adopt this approach, with supporters being able to make their own way to the game without the ‘traditional’ police escort.

“Supporters have shown that the day can be a passionate yet peaceful one and although the 4pm kick-off on Easter Sunday brings with it some additional challenges, our priority remains the same – the safety of the public.

“We are prepared for every eventuality and I’d ask that all supporters respect the occasion, their clubs, other supporters, police and club staff; we are all working together to make sure the day is a success and that all supporters get home safely on Sunday evening.”