Rugby league fans in the North East urged to remain vigilant ahead of World Cup fixtures


Fans preparing to visit stadiums in the North East ahead of the Rugby League World Cup are being urged to trust their instincts, as Counter Terrorism Policing works with tournament organisers to help keep people safe.

Thousands of people are expected to travel to matches across the area to see the world’s greatest players and enjoy what is set to be a record-breaking event.

Games will take place over the coming weeks in Newcastle, Leeds, Doncaster, Hull, Sheffield, Middlesbrough, Huddersfield and York as part of the tournament.

Whilst there is no specific threat or intelligence linked to the tournament, Counter Terrorism Policing is urging fans to be vigilant and report suspicious activity to stewards or police.

Temporary Detective Chief Superintendent Peter Craig is Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East. He said: “We are proud to play a part in hosting the Rugby League World Cup and to welcome people from across the world.

“We’re working closely with organisers and local police forces to make sure that everything is in place to protect people; whether they have tickets to a game or planning a trip to a nearby pub to soak up the atmosphere. 

“However, there is also a role for the public to play in reporting anything that doesn’t feel right. We need fans to trust their instincts. If you’re not sure about something, tell a steward or a police officer, and they will do the rest.

“A huge amount of work goes into preparing for an event like this. Security measures are well tested and in place to keep you safe, so please respect them and the staff who are there to help you.”

Safety advice from Counter Terrorism Policing will be displayed at every match, reminding fans how to report concerns.

Even the smallest piece of information can make a difference, with one in five reports received by Counter Terrorism Policing being used as intelligence by officers.

Rugby League World Cup Tournament Director Dean Hardman, said:

“With thousands of fans attending Rugby League World Cup 2021’s 61 tournament matches, we’re pleased to be working closely with Counter Terrorism Policing to ensure ticket holders have a positive and enjoyable matchday experience.

“While every measure is being taken to ensure the safety of our tournament, fans will have their role to play and I would urge fans to follow the safety advice that will be visible at stadiums and online.”

Top advice for fans:

  • Arrive early for extra security measures to help prevent delays;
  • Be patient with security checks;
  • If you spot someone acting suspiciously, report it to a steward or police immediately;
  • Don’t leave bags unattended and never agree to look after someone else’s bag, no matter how plausible their story;
  • If there is an incident, listen to staff and any announcements. Emergency plans are in place to help you keep safe;
  • The chance of being caught in a terrorist attack is small. But if it happens – Run, Hide, Tell.

You can also report anything that doesn’t feel right online at

Always call 999 in an emergency.

You can find out more about the Rugby League World Cup here

counter terrorism