Newcastle and Sunderland fans warned ahead of derby

Newcastle and Sunderland fans have been warned that violence will not be tolerated when the teams clash in their first derby for two years.

Thousands of visiting Sunderland supporters will descend on Newcastle for Sunday's Premier League game.

Violence has flared in the past and Northumbria Police have warned of "firm action" against troublemakers.

The last top-flight meeting between the two sides was a draw, shortly before Newcastle were relegated.

Special buses have been laid on for travelling Sunderland fans which will leave the city's Stadium of Light ahead of Sunday's 1330 GMT kick-off.

'Firm action'

Ch Supt Graham Smith, of Northumbria Police said: "The overwhelming majority of football fans are well-behaved and want nothing more than to attend games free from the fear of violence or disorder.

"People who come to the game on Sunday intent on causing trouble shouldn't bother because we will take firm action against them.

"They should stay away and let the real football fans enjoy their day out."

He said police had been working closely with both clubs and Newcastle City Council in planning for the fixture.

Sunderland's safety manager Paul Weir said: "We would advise all Sunderland fans travelling to the derby fixture to take advantage of the free bus service to and from the stadium.

"The safety and security of supporters is of paramount importance to both clubs and the bus service will enable the police to facilitate a safe transit for visiting fans without sacrificing any enjoyment of the game."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites