Dated: 28 Feb 2012
Northumbria Police is preparing to welcome thousands of football fans to this weekend's Tyne-Wear derby.
Officers are reminding fans to make use of the dedicated transport arrangements to ensure they arrive in good time to enjoy the game.
Chief Superintendent Dave Pryer, Operations Command, said: “All supporters will receive a warm welcome in Newcastle for what is one of the highlights of the region's sporting calendar.
"We want everyone to have a great day out and to enjoy the football and we'd encourage people to use the special transport arrangements to ensure they get to Newcastle safely and in good time.
“We know both sets of fans are passionate but we would remind them they need to behave responsibly both inside and outside the stadium.
"As with any high profile event attracting thousands of people there will be a substantial police presence to prevent any disorder and ensure that anyone committing offences is dealt with firmly but fairly. Extra officers will be on duty before, during and after the game, for the benefit of everyone."
Sunderland fans attending the derby are being advised by police to use special transport facilities.
Free coaches organised by SAFC are the safest and most reliable means of transport. They will board at 9.30am on Sunday and leave the Stadium of Light at 10.15am. Fans are encouraged to use the coaches on their return journey too.
There will be no Northern Rail train service on the day due to engineering works.
There will be a special Metro provided for supporters who wish to travel by rail. It will depart Sunderland Central at 10.12am and travel non-stop to arrive in Newcastle at 10.42am. Returning, it will leave Central Station at 3.26pm and arrive back in Sunderland at 3.54pm.
This will allow fans to arrive safely and in plenty of time for the 12pm kick-off as well as help minimise disruption to other travellers.
C/Supt Pryer added: "Sunderland fans will also be asked to remain in the North Stand for a short time at the end of the match while home fans disperse. This is to ensure all supporters leave the ground safely."
The force has worked closely with both clubs and their supporters' associations to ensure families can enjoy the match in a safe environment.