Northumbria Police promise 'tough action' on disorder ahead of the Tyne-Wear derby

A senior officer at Northumbria Police has stated that anyone causing disorder at Saturday's Tyne-Wear derby will face "tough action".
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Northumbria Police has released a message to Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC fans ahead of the Tyne-Wear derby in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, January 6.

Chief Supt Neil Hutchison is calling on football fans to work with officers to ensure that the match goes ahead without incident.

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He also confirmed that there will be a much larger police presence than usual around the Stadium of Light, with police cordons in place to keep both sets of fans apart.

Chief Supt Neil Hutchison said: "There is understandably widespread excitement for the upcoming FA Cup game between Sunderland and Newcastle at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

The FA Cup fixture between Newcastle and Sunderland will be the first Tyne-Wear derby since 2016. Photo: Getty Images.The FA Cup fixture between Newcastle and Sunderland will be the first Tyne-Wear derby since 2016. Photo: Getty Images.
The FA Cup fixture between Newcastle and Sunderland will be the first Tyne-Wear derby since 2016. Photo: Getty Images.

“Football fans in the North East are well known for being amongst the most passionate in the country and this fixture is much-anticipated by supporters of both clubs.

“Our role, and that of our wider partners – including the clubs, transport providers and local authorities – is to help ensure those attending the game can do so safely and that disruption for other members of the public is kept to a minimum.

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“Ever since the fixture was announced, extensive discussions have been held with all parties and a lot of work has been ongoing to facilitate the safe delivery of such a large-scale event.

“As a result, all partners involved agreed to a number of conditions. This includes, in order to facilitate a 6,000 away allocation, Newcastle supporters traveling to and from the stadium on designated coaches.

"Without doing so, the public transport system would not be able to accommodate such a large number of supporters safely.

“On the day, there will be a much larger police presence around the ground than usual and to further help accommodate the safe arrival and departure of both sets of fans police cordons will be in place.

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“We would therefore ask all fans to work with us to help ensure the match goes ahead without incident.

“We know the overwhelming majority of supporters will follow the advice being shared by ourselves and their respective clubs and will be going to the match to enjoy the occasion."

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The senior officer has also warned fans that Northumbria Police will take tough action on anyone who does use the match as a reason to cause disorder.

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He added: "However, we want to make it clear to anyone who is intent on using the game as an excuse to cause trouble that this will not be tolerated.

"Anyone found responsible will subsequently face tough action, including criminal prosecution and being handed a football banning order.

“As well as the increased police presence at the ground, we will also have additional officers in both city centres. Any disorder will be clamped down upon and those involved can expect to be arrested.

“Ultimately, we want to ensure all supporters can have a safe and enjoyable time – and everyone can play their part in achieving that result.”

Saturday's match will be the first time that the clubs have faced each other at a senior level since a 1-1 draw at St James' Park in March 2016.

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