Don't be alarmed by armed police, visitors to Sunderland International Airshow told

Superintendent Sarah Pitt
Superintendent Sarah Pitt

The police officer in charge of looking after the Sunderland International Airshow has told visitors to the event not to be alarmed by the sight of armed officers on duty.

Hundreds of thousands are expected at the seafront for the three-day spectacular, which begins tonight.

Superintendent Sarah Pitt will once again be leading the policing operation for the event as Silver Commander.

She said: "The airshow attracts huge crowds and is a fantastic event for the city and one we're really proud to be a part of. We've been working closely with the organisers and Sunderland City Council to ensure plans are in place to make sure the event runs smoothly and that any disruption to our local residents is kept to a minimum.

"Officers will be on patrol in and around the city, in particular in Seaburn and Roker, throughout the weekend - they are there to offer our local communities reassurance and I would urge anyone who does have any concerns not hesitate to speak to an officer.

"Our local residents play a crucial role in helping us as they are familiar with the area, they know what seems out of place or suspicious and I would anyone who does see somthing that they think looks out of the ordinary to please get in contact with us, they can either tell an officer on patrol or ring us.

"Some of the officers members of the public see on patrol may be armed but people should not be alarmed about this, more than anything they are there to reassure our local communities, they are not there in response to any increased threat. Please stop and speak to them!

"We're really grateful to our local communities for the support they show us and their understanding throughout these events, it really is important to us and something we very much value."