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Mob violence

THESE are the shocking images of mob violence on our streets captured on mobile phone and distributed on the internet.

The pictures show rival Asian and white gangs fighting as others cheer them on.
Girls can be heard screaming racial insults at Asian youths.
The video was shot in Havelock Terrace, near Sunderland's
Thornhill School.
At least three youths, including one girl, can be seen wearing the school's uniform. However, police say they were not directly involved in the violence.
Officers today confirmed they were aware of the video, which was shot in the last few weeks, and were working with the school and the ethnic community to resolve the issues.
In March, the Echo revealed how 13 youths had been arrested as fighting broke out in the streets surrounding the school involving pupils and gangs of older youths.
Chief inspector Paul Orchard, from Sunderland police, said: "It's unfortunate that this video has presented the opportunity for extreme groups and individuals to capitalise on a local incident.
"This reflects very negatively on the groups and communities involved in what is unacceptable behaviour."
As a result, police have been taking a pro-active approach to resolve the problems, working with
Thornhill School, as well as ethnic communities in Sunderland.
Headmaster of Thornhill School John Hallworth, said: "While the depicted incident involves older youths not associated with Thornhill in a location well away from the school, we deplore all acts of antisocial behaviour and take strong action against anyone in our charge who might act inappropriately."
Neighbours living in Beechwood Street, Havelock Terrace and Elmwood Street say they regularly see gangs of youths being escorted down the street by police in a bid to prevent further violence.
Jim Cuthbert, who has lived in Elmwood Street for the past 24 years, says the problems have been going on for several months. The 56-year-old added: "Now, it's got to the stage where the police are getting here before the school even comes out, just to make sure they stop any trouble before it starts."
Shops in the area say customers are regularly complaining about the fighting, although the police presence seems to have calmed things down.
Only a small minority are believed to be from the school, with older youths understood to be the gang leaders. "
In recent months, police have stepped up patrols outside the school gates with marked vans and officers on patrol. They have also spoken in school assemblies to highlight concerns.
Siddique Miah, chairman of Sunderland Bangladeshi Association, said the police and community were working together to address the issues.
He added: "We are doing our best to help this situation and our understanding is that things have started to cool down now."

08 May 2006


Keep calm


CITY leaders today appealed for calm after a spate of racist attacks and clashes.

His appeal comes as the father of a teenage boy, beaten by a racist mob, spoke of his horror at the attack which left his son needing surgery.
***** ****, 15, was allegedly set upon by a gang of white youths wielding sticks at the University Metro Station on Monday night.
The schoolboy, who attends a Dewsbury Islamic boarding school, needed 17 stitches to his head and is recovering from an operation on a broken finger which was carried out yesterday.
Today Abdur Rouf, secretary of the Sunderland Central Mosque, said religious leaders were working in the Bangladeshi community alongside police to try to calm the situation.
He said: "We want to live in peace in our community. Bangladeshi people have been in Sunderland for a very long time and this is the first time we have had a situation escalate like this.
"We are speaking to our young people and the wider community and saying whatever happens they cannot take the law into their own hands.
"The majority of people in Sunderland would never attack a Muslim. This is a few young men and is bred out of depravation and ignorance."
**** ***** is still recovering in hospital after Monday night's attacks which sparked a number of clashes in the Chester Road area.
His father, Jamal, 65, said his whole family had been left shaken by the incident.
He added: "We just want to live peacefully in the community, but what has happened has left us all shocked.
"There has been trouble escalating in the area for a few weeks. Another Asian boy was attacked on Sunday and then there was all the trouble last night."
Nine people were arrested during a spate of what police described as "flashpoints", including an attack on a Bangladeshi home in Thelma Street during which a two-year-old girl was showered with glass and suffered cuts to her face, and trouble between up to 30 people in Cleveland Road.
Three youths, aged 15, 16 and 17 are appearing in court today charged with assault and racially aggravated disorderly conduct.

CHIEF Superintendent Jim Campbell said police would be stepping up their presence in the area to reassure the public and to prevent further race clashes.He added: "Racism – whether against Asians or whites – will not be tolerated."

Today one neighbour in Thelma Street, who saw trouble flare between Bangladeshi and white youths on Sunday and Monday said she thought the whole thing was "a terrible shame" for her community.

She added: "It's young people involved in this, not older ones. They need to be sat down and spoken too so whatever issues are going on can be addressed.

"I am horrified about what has happened and I think it is a terrible shame for everyone in the area if the next generation of Bangladeshi and British teenagers grow up hating each other like this."

And Asian people in the area spoke of their hopes for an integrated future for white and Asian people living in Sunderland.

One man, a teacher, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said: "I am British. I have a British passport. My children were born here. People of the Bangladeshi community have been living in this city for decades.

"We want people to know that we are as proud to be British as them, and all we want is to live peacefully in Sunderland – our home."

17 August 2005


Race attack horror


AN Asian schoolboy was beaten with a wooden stake after he was pounced on by a gang of six attackers during a night of city centre racial violence.

And the racist thugs who attacked him are already back on the streets.
The 15-year-old, who cannot be named, was targeted by mistaken identity and was held back a year at school as he needed so much time off to recover from his injuries.
The youngster was attacked as he walked past the University Metro Station in Sunderland, in full traditional Islamic dress, on August 15 last year.
******* ***** and ******* ****** mistook the lad for one of a gang of Asian youths who they had been involved in a running battle with earlier that evening, in the streets surrounding the station.
******, ***** and four other youths, chased the young victim and his friends then launched an horrific and bloody attack.
The terrified victim needed 17 stitches to a wound to his head and surgery to reconstruct his middle finger, which had been crushed in the kicking attack.
Prosecutor Tim Gittens told the court: "The victim and his friends were chased on to a nearby grass area, a park area.
"As they did so, the injured party tripped over the Islamic gown he was wearing and fell to the floor."
"At that point they surrounded him and proceeded to launch kicks and stamps to various parts of his body, including his head, upper torso and legs.
"At that point, ****** ****** moved away from the attack, went to a nearby tree and uprooted and snapped its wooden stake supporting the tree.
"He returned with it and he was seen to bring down that heavy implement to the victim's head or the vicinity of his head."
The court heard how when the attackers fled the area the young victim was taken to Sunderland Royal hospital for treatment.
The teenager needed so much time off school to recover from his injuries he was put back a year and he has since moved to a different school away from the area.
He has made a good recovery, but still suffers headaches and some pain in his injured finger.
Since the incident, police have been taking a pro-active approach to resolve racial issues by working with the ethnic communities and a mediation service.
Officers say they will take action against those caught inciting racial tensions or violence.
******* *****, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
He also admitted causing racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence relating to an incident earlier that day when he smashed a window at an Asian youth's home during the running battle.
He also pleaded guilty to a charge of assisting an offender, accused of robbery, a lift on his bike away from the scene of his crime.
******* ****** admitted the lesser charge of causing grievous bodily harm.
He admitted kicking the victim's lower body as he lay on the ground, but said he was horrified when ****** produced the stake.
Defence barristers said the pair were full of remorse for what happened and had fallen in with the wrong crowd when the incident took place.
The four other youths involved in the kicking attack will be dealt with by the youth court.
Mr recorder Peter Johnson sentenced ***** to a community order for two years with an intensive supervision and surveilance requirement and a 6pm to 6am curfew for six months.
The judge said custody was appropriate for the gravity of the offence, but he took the nine months ******* has spent on remand – equivalent to an 18-month sentence – into account.
******, who has been on bail since the attack, was sentenced to detention and training order for four months.
The judge said; "This attack was brutal, it was sustained. It was highly unjustified. "

27 May 2006



No hiding place for these thugs


"WE'RE coming for you" - that's the stark warning from police to hooligans who brought violence to Wearside's streets.

The thugs were captured on film as trouble flared outside the away supporters' exit at the Stadium of Light after the recent Sunderland v Newcastle Premier League derby game.
Unable to reach rival fans, a mob of about 200 turned its rage on police.
In stand-offs in Millennium Way, outside The Wheatsheaf pub and in Roker Avenue, the thugs hurled bottles, bricks, and any other objects they could get their hands on, at officers.
Some of the hooligans had not even attended the game - police say they use football matches as "theatres for violence".
No one was hurt in the clashes, but police horses and dogs needed veterinary treatment after being struck by missiles.
Today force chiefs urged decent supporters to come forward with information to snare the louts.
Chief Inspector John Brady told the Echo: "The people who committed violent disorder offences on derby day think they have got away with it because they have not been arrested yet. They need to think again."
He said the force had an "excellent record" when it came to combating football hooliganism.
Anti-hooligan laws could be used to jail and ban the yobs from soccer stadiums across the world for between three and 10 years.
Last month, detectives - who spent almost two years painstakingly trawling through thousands of mobile phone records and CCTV camera images - were rewarded when 35 suspected members of the Seaburn Casuals and Newcastle Gremlins were brought to justice.
The investigation, one of the largest undertaken by the force, was launched when rival thugs clashed at the North Shields ferry landing in May 2000. In total jail sentences amounting to nearly 15 years were meted out to the hooligans.
"What this demonstrated is that we have the evidence of these crimes, and no matter how long after the event we will come looking for you," added Chf Insp Brady.
"It is an example of disorder being dealt with efficiently and positively. Its sends a message out to offenders that their behaviour will not be tolerated."
He said the Sunderland-Newcastle clash, six weeks ago, was relatively "trouble-free". Police made 38 arrests before during and after the game, compared to 161 arrests the previous season.
Football liaison officer Pc Bruce Hepton added: "We are determined to eradicate this problem of disorder. These offenders are not football fans, some of them don't even go to the games, they simply use the matches as a theatre for their violence."

10 April 2002



'Boro fans attacked


He is one of a band of soccer thugs who are behind a recent surge in trouble at the home of Sunderland AFC.
City police are determined to stamp on the yobs who hide behind ordinary fans to feed their craving for mayhem.
And Sunderland AFC has backed moves to root out the problem by warning fans involved in fighting and rowdy behaviour they will be banned from the game.
This exclusive picture was taken by officers following the Sunderland v Middlesbrough Premier League derby game on March 18.
A stand-off developed between rival supporters when about 2,000 Sunderland fans besieged the away exits to hurl insults at the Teessiders.
Among the crowd of Black Cat followers were hooligans who used the tense atmosphere to incite clashes with police officers.
Coins and bricks were tossed at Boro supporters who were being held at the exit gates for their protection and to prevent clashes between thugs. If you can identify this man, call the crime desk at Sunderland City Police on 454 7555, ext: 66659.
Police today urged decent supporters to come forward with information to snare the hooligans.
Although a number of well-known offenders understood to be associated with the Seaburn Casuals hooligan group are believed to have been involved in the violence, some yobs have yet to be identified.
Chief Inspector Dave Hills, of Sunderland City Police, said: "These people are scum for behaving in this way.
"Its just sheer hatred in their eyes, but they will go into work on a Monday morning and expect to be treated with respect by their colleagues and employers even though they behave in this way.

"We had trouble after the Manchester United, Leeds, Newcastle and Middlesbrough games. Ordinary fans are getting caught up in it and we want to stop it now.
"These people will be prosecuted if we can prove the offences we dont want them, the club doesnt want them and the vast majority of fans dont want them."
Football liaison officer Pc Bruce Hepton added: "These hooligans are sophisticated in that they use mobile phones and the world wide web to contact each other and arrange their confrontations.
"They will even send scouting parties to the preceding matches to check out the best pubs and stopping off points.
"The vast majority of them dont even go into the match, they are not interested in the football at all.
"We want to identify these people and this is just the start."
Tough new laws were introduced last September which allow for football thugs to be banned for up to 10 years from grounds if convicted of violence or racism.
Sunderland AFC, which has its own policy of excluding troublemakers, said any hooligans who were season ticket holders would have their tickets removed.
Safety Officer John Davidson said: "Over the last couple of games there have been a minority of fans who have remained behind at the stadium after the final whistle in close proximity to visiting fans.
"Whilst the majority of fans cause no problems and are involved in nothing more than friendly banter, it is an opportunity for the minority to engage in anti-social behaviour and use the crowd to conceal themselves and this behaviour.
"These so-called football fans are not welcome and we will do everything in our power to work with the police to root them out."
A total of 28 thugs were arrested following the Middlesbrough game and another 55 were arrested after the Sunderland v Newcastle clash in February.

28 March 2000



Police ready for cup clash


BRAWLING football fans, threatening to disrupt tomorrow's cup tie between Sunderland and Hartlepool, today received a stark warning from police.

It comes following a fracas last Sunday when mobs of supporters from both teams clashed in Wetherby, North Yorkshire.
Now, as the two sides prepare to meet at the Stadium of Light in the FA Cup third round, police say they are ready to cope with any hooligans looking to cause trouble.
Police in Yorkshire dispersed rival fans after they squared up to each other in a suspected organised brawl.
As officers in Sunderland gear up for tomorrow's match, they are confident planned security measures will prove adequate to deter any signs of trouble.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: " We have been looking forward to the visit of the Hartlepool fans to the Stadium of Light and hope they enjoy their day.
"We can assure all those attending the fixture that there will be adequate police resources to cope with any disorder."
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Concerns have been growing about the increasing amount of "web traffic" posted on football fanzine internet sites, expressing fears about trouble at the game.
One posting on a Sunderland fanzine stated: "Me and the missus were going to go, but after talking to some "Pools" (Hartlepool) fans, they reckon there will be loads of bother, not between them and us, but loads of Mags are going to the match as well."
Another stated: "I'm really looking forward to the match but sadly so are our darker side- and for different reasons."
John Davidson, safety officer for Sunderland AFC, said: "We are mindful of the passions aroused by fixtures involving local sides and are fully committed to providing a safe environment for both sets of supporters.
"Of course, there is a lot of pride at stake in such a game but we would ask fans to ensure that this game is remembered for all the right reasons and is an enjoyable occasion for everyone."
Police won their war with football hooligans at last October's potentially volatile clash between the Black Cats and Cardiff, which passed relatively trouble-free.
In a determined effort to prevent any violence, officers policed the match in the same way they would a Tyne-Wear derby.
A total of 23 arrests were made inside and outside the Stadium of Light - all for public order offences.
Sunday's incident was understood to be of a minor nature and police are not thought to be planning a large-scale operation for tomorrow.

02 January 2004


Man injured in near riot


POLICE won their war with football hooligans as last night's potentially volatile clash between Sunderland and Cardiff passed relatively trouble-free.

In a determined effort to prevent any trouble, force chiefs policed the match in the same way they would a Tyne-Wear derby.
Northumbria force bosses decided to place a heavy police presence around the Stadium of Light and in Sunderland city centre in a bid to deter troublemakers.
A total of 23 arrests were made inside and outside the Stadium of Light – all for public order offences.
A police spokesman told the Echo: "The night was relatively trouble free. We're pleased with how the operation went."
However, one man suffered minor head injuries when violence erupted in and around the Wheat Sheaf pub about half an hour before kick-off. Pub windows were smashed and furniture damaged as rival fans clashed.
He was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital for treatment and two men have been arrested in connection with an assault. The suspects were being interviewed about the fight today.
Police had feared hooligan gangs attached to both clubs would clash.
The concern followed reports that Cardiff's "Soul Crew" hooligan gang had been behind trouble at Sheffield United last month where two police officers were seriously injured in violent clashes.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman had called the trouble: "The worst we've seen in 20 years."
Two weeks ago the Echo reported that so-called Sunderland and Cardiff fans had goaded each other on a hooligans website.


central station clash


Football violence erupted at the weekend, with a settling of old scores between rival fans on the eve of the season. Five people were arrested and a pub was badly damaged as a result of clashes between Newcastle and Sunderland fans in and around Newcastle Central Station. Violence erupted after Sunderland supporters arrived at the station on trains from Edinburgh, where they had been watching the club's pre-season friendly against Hibernian. A group of Newcastle fans is believed to have been awaiting their arrival in the Centurion bar within the station. Abuse was shouted and bottles were thrown between the rival groups, before a pitched battle began, spilling into the bar, at around 8.45pm on Saturday. Police managed to restore order and escort most of the Sunderland supporters onto Metro trains bound for Wearside. Five men, said to be from the South Shields and Sunderland areas, were arrested in relation to public order and criminal damage offences and are understood have been bailed pending further inquiries into the incident. Centurion bar manager Tracey Viereck was forced to close the premises for an hour-and-a-half after the violence to clear up the debris. She said: "Glasses were being thrown, punches were being thrown, but I had a bar full of terrified people, who got involved in something they weren't planning on a Saturday night. "It went on for about 15 to 20 minutes until they were arrested or cleared away and then I had to close the bar, which is something I have never done in three years of trading on a Saturday night." Lothian and Borders Police said the 2,200-plus Sunderland fans were well behaved before, during and after the game at Hibs' Easter Road ground in Edinburgh.


Disabled attacked in derby mayhem

DISABLED Sunderland fans had their coach bricked in a night of derby violence which saw 300 fans go on the rampage.

A bus carrying nearly 50 supporters from the Sunderland AFC Disabled and Escorts Branch came under attack from a mob as it left St James's Park.
Terrified fans told how a brick was hurled at the window of the coach, which was carrying disabled supporters aged between 14 and 82.
Lines of truncheon-wielding police held rival fans apart outside St James's Park after the final whistle to prevent clashes following Sunderland's 3-2 defeat, police pushed back a mob of Sunderland fans trying to reach their Newcastle counterparts as missiles were thrown.
Hours later, 300 people – believed to be Newcastle fans – rioted in the Bigg Market, forcing police to seal off streets and close pubs.
Twenty arrests were made and extra police officers were drafted in.
Great-grandmother Freda Oyston, secretary of the Sunderland AFC Disabled and Escorts Branch, said members were left badly shaken by the brick attack.
She said: "Whoever did it is an animal. It's just not on.
"The brick hit a side window, next to where an 18-year-old blind man was sitting. Everybody was shaken."
The brick left a crack, causing about 400-worth of damage to the Stanley Coaches bus.
Freda, of Framwellgate Moor, Durham, said: "There were fans hanging around looking for trouble, it was a good-sized group."


Rail rampage


A POLICEMAN was put in hospital when he was attacked as Sunderland fans went on the rampage on a train.

The assault was part of a shocking night of violence, which saw hooligans kicked off trains because of loutish antics after Sunderland's 2-0 defeat at West Ham.
Supporters returning from London on Saturday were taken off at Peterborough and Doncaster, and arrests were made at Newcastle.
As a British Transport Police officer attempted to apprehend a man, he was attacked and left with a dislocated shoulder.
One fan who witnessed the trouble said: "They'd been drunk and threatening staff all the way through the journey.
"I'm not surprised it ended up with someone getting hurt. This isn't the first time this kind of thing's happened."
The trouble comes just two months after Sunderland supporters were thrown off another train from London, after a match at Arsenal.
Rail bosses today condemned the troublemakers who had started shouting at train staff and other passengers after boarding at London's King Cross Station.
At one point, the 7pm GNER service from the capital to Newcastle was held up for 40 minutes while a transport guard pleaded for calm.
A fan travelling on the 7pm service said: "The guard was visibly shaking, he was really wound up. He threatened to sign off from his duties, which would have left the train with no one in charge.
"You could see families and teenagers who'd been out for the day looking really worried."
As the train waited at Peterborough station, an announcement was made warning fans to behave or risk being arrested. Three fans were then removed at the station, with two more being ordered off at Doncaster.
Two fans, who had been travelling on the 8.30pm London train, were arrested for being drunk and disorderly after arriving at Newcastle.
Pc John Foster, from British Transport Police, said: "That was just prior to one of our officers being attacked.
"He was hit on the shoulder before the man ran off into Newcastle. We are studying CCTV footage from the station in a bid to identify this person."
The injured officer was taken to Newcastle General Hospital before being discharged. He is now expected to be off work for at least two weeks.
The trouble comes after a similar incident when fans returned from London two months ago. More than 20 fans were asked to leave after they were caught fighting, stealing and exposing themselves.
A spokeswoman for GNERsaid: "The behaviour of some football fans travelling from London to Newcastle on Saturday night was unacceptable and GNER apologises for the inconvenience caused to other passengers. Such behaviour from any passenger will not be tolerated."
The latest problems are likely to reignite calls for Sunderland AFC to send stewards on away trips to stamp out trouble.
Although Middlesbrough FC has club representatives at away matches, neither Sunderland nor Newcastle have opted for the policy.


Violence was unexpected


Police say they had no reason to expect violence at a friendly match between Carlisle United and Sunderland AFC, during which four fans were arrested.  Cumbria Police say incidents of significant disorder took place both before and after Saturday's game.  Officers from tactical support groups across the county were brought in to Carlisle to try to restore calm. Most of the trouble happened in the Botchergate area, away from the Brunton Park ground. Supt Andy Davidson of Cumbria Police said: "Following the disorder in Carlisle on Saturday four arrests were made - three men from Sunderland and one from Carlisle. "No intelligence had been received to suggest that there would be trouble at the ground or conflict with Carlisle supporters. "Although there was significant disorder on Saturday, police had things under control. There was no serious injury or damage. "Much evidence was gathered on the day and we will be liaising with Northumbria and expect to make further arrests both there and in Cumbria." Following the match, police directed about 300 Sunderland fans to the railway station, and officers boarded the train to accompany them back to the north east.


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