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FSF investigates claims of heavy-handed policing

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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The FSF has been concerned to hear accounts of the treatment of Sunderland fans by Northumbria Police at Newcastle’s Central Station on Saturday 8th August. The Mackems were returning from their side’s pre-season friendly with Hearts.

Supporters had been directed by an announcement in the stadium to a ‘football special’ train, which instead of taking them directly to Sunderland as advertised actually dropped them off in Newcastle. Fans were then on the receiving end of heavy-handed treatment from police who were escorting them to the Tyne and Wear Metro, with at least three fans requiring hospital treatment.

There are some startling discrepancies between the statements we’ve received from supporters and the Police’s statement of what occurred. We would like to hear from anyone who was involved in or who witnessed this incident, as we feel it is essential that there is a full and independent investigation into what happened.

The FSF are in a position to help any fans who would like to register a complaint about the police’s behaviour at this incident, and all communications will be kept in the strictest of confidence. We have passed initial details on to our legal contacts for advice. Please contact the FSF office on 08702 777 777 or email [email protected]

Any fans wishing to complain directly should contact both the Northumbria Police and also the Independent Police Complaints Commission – follow this link for Police complaint procedures. We also advise people to contact their local MP to make them aware of the complaint.

We ask any fans who make complaints directly to keep the FSF informed of their correspondence – we’re collating information on this incident and the more statements and complaints that we’re aware of the better.

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