CCTV released of fans' disorder at Central Station
Dated: 17 Aug 2009
Police have released footage of an outbreak of disorder at Newcastle Central Station as enquiries continue to trace all those involved.
The disorder happened on Saturday, August 8, and involved groups of people claiming to be football fans associated with Sunderland AFC and Newcastle United.
A police operation responded to information received about a pre-arranged fight involving people who had previously been associated with football-related violence. They were on a train which was due into Newcastle just after 8pm.
Police met the train intending to take them straight to the Metro. This was to prevent a possible clash between them and a group of people associated with violence at Newcastle, who were waiting outside the station. However, a section of the Sunderland group became violent and disorderly, lashing out at police officers and dogs.
At the same time, a second train containing several hundred genuine Sunderland supporters arrived at the station. A decision was taken by British Transport Police to prevent passengers from disembarking until the violence was brought under control and the group dispersed.
The second train was held for 20 minutes and those passengers were taken to the Metro without incident.
Chief Superintendent Graham Smith, Newcastle Area Commander, said: "We know that some of these passengers have expressed concern about being met by a number of police officers and dogs. However, it must be stressed that these officers were there to control the situation involving the first train and were only concerned with protecting the safety of those travelling on the second train."
CCTV footage has been released to trace some key people involved in the disorder.
Chief Supt Smith added: "We acted to prevent a pre-arranged fight organised by individuals who associate themselves with Sunderland and Newcastle football clubs. The vast majority of genuine fans don't want anything to do with these people. We need to identify them to prevent future organised violence.
"I'd urge anyone who recognises the people in the images to contact as soon as possible."
Superintendent Steve Neill, Match Commander for the Sunderland versus Chelsea football macth on Tuesday night (August 18), added: "We always aim to ensure that the policing operation at football matches is both firm and fair.
"We know that the vast majority of fans simply want to enjoy the game. They must be allowed to do so without fear from those who are only interested in causing violence and disorder."