Street traders told to cease business for Wear Tees derby as police class it as ‘high risk’ fixture

Only half the traders who do business on the streets around the Stadium of Light will be allowed to sell to fans on Sunday, when the Wear Tees derby will be held at the Sunderland ground.
Only half the traders who do business on the streets around the Stadium of Light will be allowed to sell to fans on Sunday, when the Wear Tees derby will be held at the Sunderland ground.

Half the street traders on the approach to the Stadium of Light have been told they cannot do business this Sunday because the Wear Tees derby match is a “high risk” fixture.

Eight of the businesses which set up on match days near the ground have been told their licences will be suspended for this weekend’s game.

Our message is simple, stay safe and enjoy your day.

Superintedent Sarah Pitt

Northumbria Police had asked for all street trading to be suspended, but Sunderland City Council’s regulatory committee agreed a compromise.

It will see the traders who set up north of Richmond Street allowed to sell up until half-time, while the other eight who have licences south of that point will not be allowed to do business.

Under the rules, applications for street trading can be refused in the vicinity of the ground then there are high profile non-football events, such as concerts as well as international football games and matches deemed “high risk” by the police, unless an applicant can demonstrate exceptional reasons where a move from the policy would be in the interest of the public.

Police had sent letters to traders asking them to voluntarily suspend trade for the day and has suggested the move will prevent an obstruction on the streets.

A report to the council said: “Northumbria Police has made representations to the Licensing Section of Sunderland City Council on the grounds of public safety and the prevention of disorder in order to seek the suspension of Street Trading Consents in the designated area on 21 August 2016.

“The Sunderland v Middlesbrough derby is considered to be a game with a high risk of disorder.
“In order to facilitate the safe movement of people attending the match Northumbria Police require this area to be free from traders.”

Superintendent Sarah Pitt, silver commander for the match this weekend, said: “Our priority when it comes to policing football matches is to ensure the safety of supporters attending the game and every decision we make is with that in mind.

“Due to the local connection between these two teams we anticipate that more supporters will be travelling on the train then they would in other fixtures in Sunderland this season and that was a big factor in why we wanted to clear the area in question.

“There will be a large number of supporters in the area, more than at any other game this season, and we wanted to make sure that nothing was in place that would hinder the movement of those supporters making their way to the Stadium of Light.

“We understand the passion of this fixture but there is nothing to suggest there is going to be large amounts of disorder at this match and we are looking forward to being part of a really exciting day for everyone involved.

“Members of our Football Neighbourhood Policing Team have already met with supporters of both teams and everyone is happy with the plans in place for this game and those in place for the rest of the season.

“If anyone has any concerns on the day of the match itself then feel free to speak to one of our officers on duty on match day and they will be able to offer you the appropriate advice and support.

“Our message is simple, stay safe and enjoy your day.”

Councillor James Blackburn, chairman of the committee said: “The city council and other agencies have a duty to ensure public safety at all major public events.

“For this fixture, there are some restrictions on street trading in the Sheepfolds area.

“The decision of the committee was in line with police advice, the promotion of public safety, and representations from traders.”