Warning to Sunderland and Newcastle fans ahead of derby clash

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DERBY day fans have been warned to stay out of trouble ahead of next weekend’s match at the Stadium of Light.

A heavy police presence will be in place in and around the Stadium of Light next Sunday to ensure there is no repeat of the violence which marred the last clash at St James’s Park.

Almost 90 people, the majority of which are NUFC supporters, have now been arrested following Sunderland’s 3-0 win on April 14 this year.

A series of safety measures are set to be put in place in a bid to keep rival supporters apart at the weekend.

There will also be a large contingent of officers patrolling the city centre before and after the game.

Roads in the city centre are expected to be extremely busy on the day and Newcastle fans are being advised to plan their travel arrangements for the game in advance.

While the travelling supporters are encouraged to use the club supporters buses, there is expected to be British Transport Police officers covering the Metro system to ensure the safety of all passengers.

Roads closed on derby day will be Sheepfolds North and Sheepfolds Road, near to the St Peter’s Metro station.

Violence erupted following the last derby match as NUFC fans went on the rampage.

Scores of fans were arrested after they were caught on CCTV clashing with police.

Those arrested included Barry Rogerson, who attacked Bud the police horse outside St. James’ Park. The 45-year-old has already pleaded guilty to a charge of violent disorder.

He is due to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on Thursday.

In a bid to prevent any problems, Newcastle fans are being asked to work with police and stewards and wait in the stadium for a short while after the final whistle. This is to allow police to ensure there is a safe path back to the coaches and Metro trains for fans when they leave the stadium.

Sunderland supporters will be asked to leave the stadium briskly after full time.

Officers will be using security barriers, used at previous derby matches, to help guide away supporters safely from the ground after the match.

Chief Superintendent Steve Neill, who is in charge of safety on the day, said: “The majority of supporters 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.

“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.”