FOOTBALL fans heading to the derby are being warned to behave – or face being shown the red card by police.
Newcastle United will play host to Sunderland on Saturday at St James’s Park in the latest Tyne-Wear clash.
But while 52,000 will fill the ground, many more will be heading to the pubs across the borough.
And in a bid to keep people safe, officers will be out and about while landlords and pub bosses have been asked to keep an eye out for unruly behaviour.
Neighbourhood Inspector Peter Sutton, said: “We work alongside licensees and Pubwatch in the run-up to each derby match, with each premise receiving a visit from officers prior to the day to offer advice and to let them know of the support that is available to them.
“We want people to enjoy the occasion but we also want people to stay safe.
“In South Tyneside, we generally don’t have big problems surrounding the derby match, but we recognise the need to be prepared should any incidents occur.
“As well as the use of direction to leave orders, police also have the power to close a premise if we feel the need is necessary.”
Staff are being urged to refuse to serve customers who are drunk and to display notices warning people that abuse or violence will not be tolerated.
Police say anyone who causes trouble will find themselves arrested or being banned from the area for a specified amount of time. Kick-off at St James’s Park is 12.45pm on Saturday.
Landlords who have any concerns or issues in the run up to derby day or on the day itself are asked to contact police.
Coaches taking Sunderland fans to the game will leave the Stadium of Light for Newcastle at 10.30am.
Turnstiles at St James’s Park will open at 11am for the arrival of the first coaches from Sunderland at 11.15am.
There will be two direct Metro services for Sunderland supporters on match day.
They will leave Sunderland station at 10.43am and 10.55am. There will also be one direct Northern Rail service, leaving Sunderland station for Newcastle Central Station at 11.19am, and arriving in Newcastle at 11.39am.
For the return journey, there are two Metros running direct from Central Station to Sunderland. They are at 3.45pm and 3.57pm.
There will also be one direct Northern Rail service leaving Newcastle at 3.38pm, passing through Heworth at 3.46pm and arriving in Sunderland at 4.01pm.