Northumbria Police will deploy metal barriers to keep rival supporters apart before this weekend's derby football match between Sunderland and Newcastle.

It is the first time the force has used such a measure.

The barriers can be joined together to form a single blockade or hinged around objects like lampposts.

They will be used at different points along the route of the Stadium of Light in preparation for Sunday's game.

"The primary objective of police cordons is to ensure the safety of fans," chief superintendent Rachel Kearton, of Northumbria Police, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

"Previously, we have used police vehicles and officers to form cordons, so the obvious benefit of these barriers is that they free up resources."

The last time the two teams met, in October last year, police made 37 arrests, the BBC said.ADNFCR-3337-ID-800341244-ADNFCR