Michael Martin for the Newcastle United Supporters Trust attended the Joint NUFC / SAFC Fans and Northumbria Police Meeting which was primarily concerned with preparations for the derby match at the Stadium of Light at 12 noon on 25th Oct 2015.
Some of the key points raised were:
- There will be special Metro trains from Newcastle (Central Station) to St Peter’s Metro Station at Sunderland.
- The times of the Metros will be:
- Departure: 10:39 Arrival: 11:03
- Departure: 10:46 Arrival: 11:10
- There will also be a service train from Newcastle (Central Station) to St. Peter’s
- Departure: 10:55 Arrival 11:17
- Buses will leave Barrack Road at 10am and are expected to arrive at 10:45am.
- Each Metro train can carry 600 supporters and the service train can carry 450.
- There will be standard public transport between Newcastle and Sunderland etc on the day and this will be unchanged.
- Newcastle United have taken a full allocation of 2800.
- There will be no Police escort from trains or buses to the away end though there will be a substantial Police presence accompanying supporters but they will be in normal Police uniforms and not “Riot Police” (our description) wear. There will be no metal barriers. There will be a Disney-style queueing system outside the away end in order to control entry.
- No Newcastle United supporters will be allowed into the Fan Zones outside the Stadium of Light.
In response to a point raised by NUST and in light of issues raised by the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) regarding of profiling of supporters wearing certain types of clothes (i.e. branded, casual wear) around the country, Northumbria Police have explicitly stated this is not their practice. Northumbria Police will only monitor known risk supporters and those causing concern as a result of their behaviour.
Northumbria Police stated their commitment to returning Newcastle United supporters back to Newcastle as quickly and safely as possible after the game. There was an explanation of some road works underway between Newcastle and Sunderland but Police are scoping the quickest and safest routes for the return journey.
Further, in response to the request of NUST, Northumbria Police have made a commitment to publishing the times it takes to return Newcastle United and Sunderland supporters back to pick-up points and further to having an aspiration in reducing those times season on season.
The NUST noted that there was no representative from either Newcastle United or Sunderland AFC at the meeting. It is understood Supporters Liaison Officers were otherwise engaged on Premier League business but neither club arranged a deputy to attend in any capacity. In the circumstances of one of the region’s most high-profile and Cat A fixtures, this is very disappointing.
The Football Supporters Federation submitted a statement reasserting its commitment to supporting an improved atmosphere at Tyne & Wear Derby games and gave fulsome praise to Northumbria Police in their work to engage with supporters.
October School Holidays – Soccer Schools
Newcastle Community Football and JUSTNewcastle (with Phoenix Taxis) have announced their October half-term Soccer Schools which are to be held between 26th and 29th of October 2015. The venues are Bullocksteads, Whickham and Gateshead.For further details click here
Sponsors website www.phoenixtaxis.net