Tyne Wear Derby: Concern Over Lack Of Police Escort

15 December 2014, 06:04 | Updated: 15 December 2014, 06:21

A Sunderland supporters group's told Heart they're concerned there won't be a police escort for fans traveling to St James' Park for the derby.

Sunderland fans are being encouraged to make use of the free bus service being provided by SAFC, as there will not be specialist direct trains for fans coming into Newcastle city centre for the game.

There will be a substantial number of officers around the city however, along with a high police presence on the transport networks and at Metro stations between Sunderland and Newcastle to assist and reassure supporters.

Chief Superintendent Steve Neill, the man in charge of ensuring the derby is a safe and enjoyable event for fans, says:
"We are listening to fans feedback and as a result, we are making some changes to our plan.

We will be providing a flexible approach for fans making their way to the stadium on the day and there will be plenty of officers to reassure and direct people coming into the city.

We will not be providing specialist direct trains from Sunderland to Newcastle, giving fans more options for travel.

Sunderland fans are encouraged to use the free coaches being provided by their club as it will be the easiest and most efficient transport option for them on the day.

We have had a number of joint fans' groups meetings with both Newcastle and Sunderland fans together. This has been really well received and the feedback from them is vital to how we police the matches."

Martyn McFadden from 'A Love Supreme' has been speaking to Heart about the police plans

In a statement, Northumbria Police tell Heart:
"There will be plenty of officers in both cities, on the trains and at the train and Metro stations to assist and reassure fans."