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Youngsters warned of the dangers of trespassing on the railway

Network Rail and British Transport Police are warning youngsters, and their parents, about the dangers of trespassing on the railway ahead of this month’s two bank holiday weekends.

Spring, with the start of the lighter nights, is traditionally a time when route crime incidents – stone-throwing, putting obstructions in front of trains, trespassing and lineside vandalism – begin to increase across the railway.

And the industry is today reminding youngsters that not only is it illegal to trespass on the tracks it can also endanger their safety and that of those working for, and travelling on, the railway.

Gemma Duffy, community safety manager for Network Rail, said: “Sadly school holidays do result in an increase in trespass and vandalism on the railways by young people. What they must realise is that their actions are not only illegal and potentially dangerous to others - they can prove fatal if you are struck by a train.

“We take trespass on our infrastructure extremely seriously and work closely with British Transport Police to educate the public on the dangers of misusing the railway and to stop those who are determined to trespass.

“Anyone who has concerns about specific locations where they know trespassers are gaining access to the railway can report them to our national helpline 24-hours-a-day on 08457 114141.”

Chief Superintendent Pete Mason, area commander for the North Western area of BTP, added: “Anyone who messes about on or near the railway put themselves in great danger as well as the lives of staff working on the rail network and passengers travelling on trains.

“It is very important that we never become complacent about the dangers of misusing the railway and I am personally urging all parents to emphasise the dangers and ensure youngsters keep away from the tracks during the holidays. If you live near a railway line, please ask yourself if you know where your children are playing.”

Anyone with information about any criminal activity on the railway can contact BTP on 0800 405040 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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