FSF statement: Sunderland fans at Central Station

The Football Supporters’ Federation welcomes news that files of evidence have been passed to the CPS for 42 of the 44 fans arrested following the incident between police and football fans on Saturday August 8th at Newcastle Central Station – see this link for information on the original incident.

Chair of the FSF, Dr Malcolm Clarke, said: “The only place guilt is established is a court of law and The Football Supporters’ Federation has always taken the view that people guilty of criminal behaviour should be put before the courts. If Northumbria Police have evidence against any Sunderland supporters involved in this incident, it is vital that this matter is processed as quickly and rigorously as possible.

“We have no way of knowing how long the CPS have been in possession of this evidence, but if no decision is taken before the new end of January bail dates, the matter will have been ongoing for six months, a totally unacceptable delay.

“Our confidence in the process has not been enhanced by the statement from CPS lawyer Andrew Waters that the incident involved violence between “Newcastle and Sunderland supporters.”

“So far in this matter Sunderland fans have been accused of an unprovoked attack on police dogs, attacking officers of Northumbria Police, conspiracy to arrange violence with rival supporters and now actual violence against Newcastle fans. As far as we are aware, the only two parties involved in the incident are fans returning from Sunderland’s pre-season match against Hearts and the Police.

“Court proceedings will give the opportunity to shine the powerful light of judicial scrutiny on the actions of the police and the fans, and the sooner the criminal investigation is dealt with the quicker we can begin to process some of the complaints made to us against police officers.”

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