Warning over trespassing on Harlow railway lines

Communities / Wed 27th Jul 2016 pm31 04:09pm

A warning is being issued to young people in the East of England as figures show trespass is on the rise across the region.

In the last three years, there has been a six per cent rise in the number of reports of trespass over the summer[i].

Longer evenings, coupled with the start of the holidays, spell danger for Britain’s youth as statistics show young people are twice as likely to trespass at this time of year than in the winter[ii].

This summer, British Transport Police and Network Rail are reminding teenagers and young adults about the dangers of going on the tracks.

Over the past 10 years, almost 170 people in the UK have lost their lives after trespassing on the railway. The data shows that just under half of those killed are under the age of 25.

Kat O’Malley, Network Rail’s community safety manager, explains: “It may seem like a good idea to take a shortcut, or like fun to play on the tracks, but this is not only illegal, it is also extremely dangerous. Taking a short cut or playing around on the tracks can result in serious life-changing injuries or death.

“Britain has the safest railway in Europe but still too many people lose their lives on the tracks. As the railway gets busier, we must all work harder to keep young people safe by making them aware of the dangers that exist.”

72% of all trespassers who died over the last 10 years were struck by a train
Another 17% were electrocuted
The others fell from structures or trains.
Most trespassers highlight taking a short cut (42%) as their main motivation for committing the crime, followed by thrill-seeking (19%).

In response to the seasonal surge in incidents, officers from British Transport Police are stepping up patrols across the region.

Chief Inspector Tom Naughton, responsible for BTP’s response to trespass in the region, said: “The last thing our officers want to do is knock on someone’s door to tell a parent or family their loved one has been killed or seriously injured as a result of trespassing.

“We’re doing all we can to keep young people safe by patrolling areas where we know they’re likely to trespass and prevent them from doing so. However, we cover thousands of miles of track and we cannot tackle this issue alone.

“That is why we are urging parents and young people to heed this warning and take a reality check when it comes to trespass. It’s not a game: they are real tracks, with real trains and real life consequences.”

To find out how to keep your children safe on the railway this summer visit http://www.networkrail.co.uk/safety-education/information-for-parents/

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