Police urge Sunderland and Newcastle fans to steer clear of trouble on derby day

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PLANS are well under way to keep Black Cat and Newcastle fans under control at next weekend’s derby clash.

Football fans are urged to play their part in making sure the day runs smoothly and is enjoyable for families and supporters attending.

Police form a cordon to prevent Sunderland fans reaching the ground as they await the arrival of Newcastle fans.

Police form a cordon to prevent Sunderland fans reaching the ground as they await the arrival of Newcastle fans.

Police will be stepping up patrols in and around the Stadium of Light and other hot spot areas across the city in a bid to prevent trouble.

Officers will again use the security barriers, which have proved successful at previous derby games.

The 8ft-high metal wall will be used to separate rival fans to ensure they do not clash before or after the afternoon match.

The barriers are also equipped with electronic signs and a public address system, which police say will help them keep fans informed.

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, we know they are passionate occasions for both sets of supporters and on the whole fans have behaved well at previous games.

“We are aware 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.

“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.”

One change to this year’s derby is that the location of away fans at the Stadium of Light has changed.

They are now seated in the upper tier of the north stand.

City centre roads are also expected to be busy and Wearsiders are being asked to take this into consideration when travelling through the city.

The match kicks off at 1.30pm on Sunday, October 21.

Twitter: @sunechochief