Road closures announced as police reassure public ahead of demonstrations taking place in Sunderland city centre

Keel Square, where one of the demos will take place
Keel Square, where one of the demos will take place

Officers are reassuring the public as police prepare for rival demonstrations taking place in Sunderland city centre.

Members of Sunderland Unites and Stand Up To Racism North East will be meeting in Keel Square from 1.15pm this afternoon.

Mowbray Park, where one of the demos will take place

Mowbray Park, where one of the demos will take place

Organisers say it is a counter march Organisers say it aims to be a counter march to one in Mowbray Park organised by the Wearside-based Justice for the Women and Children Group, which is also set to be joined by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA), taking place in Mowbray Park from 1.30pm.

The women’s group was formed following a series of rape inquiries launched in Sunderland earlier this year, and the group has already held a series of marches which have passed off peacefully.

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said officers will be in place in case of any disruption, which the force says will be kept to a minimum if it does occur.

She said: "We are aware of a demonstration in Sunderland today and a policing plan has been put in place to minimise any disruption.

“Officers are working hard to keep any disruption to a minimum but they do expect that Sunderland will be busier than usual today.

“Temporary road closures will be put in place just before the protest march proceeds through Sunderland.

“Our officers are very experienced at policing these types of events and they will highly visible to support visitors to the city, local businesses and the general public.

“We hope that the potential impact of these events is minimal but would encourage anyone who has any concerns to approach one of those officers on duty.

Rolling road closures will be put in place as march takes place

Road closures will be in place from 1.45pm and last only a few minutes to allow the procession to move through the city.

This will affect Burdon Road, Holmeside at the junction with Burdon Road, and Fawcett Street.

The areas around Keel Square and High Street West will also be very busy.