HOOLIGANS intent on causing trouble during this Sunday’s Tyne – Wear derby will be shown the red card.
Preparations have been under way for several months for the match and police today told the Echo they were ready to deal with any trouble inside or outside the Stadium of Light.
Hundreds of officers will be out in force, with patrols stepped up across the city to prevent any trouble from flaring in the hours prior to and after the game.
Chief Superintendent Rachel Kearton, of Northumbria Police, said: “Anyone who is identified as causing trouble will be arrested, either on the day or afterwards.
“Recent derby games have passed without any significant problems and we look forward to an enjoyable, trouble-free experience on Sunday.
“We know that the overwhelming majority of fans are well-behaved and want nothing more than to attend the game and enjoy the occasion.
“All supporters will receive a warm welcome in Sunderland, but anyone intent on causing problems should stay away and let the real fans enjoy their day out.
“We would remind fans they need to behave responsibly, both inside and outside the stadium, or they risk being arrested and banned from future matches.”
Police have been working hard with both clubs and Sunderland City Council over the last few months to make sure families and genuine fans can enjoy a trouble-free match.
Coun Tom Foster, chairman of Sunderland City Council, said: “We are working hard to make sure our city continues to be a safer place for us all to enjoy, and that means preventing antisocial behaviour where we can.
“The traditional derby match is a huge occasion and we hope that people remember the friendly rivalry which makes it so special and keep everything good-natured.”