Think it’s fun to play on the railway or take a shortcut along the tracks?
The British Transport Police (BTP) has released CTCV footage showing the danger of trespassing, as new figures showed the offence is at a 10-year high.
Every hour someone puts their life in danger by trespassing on the railway as the number of offences in England, Scotland and Wales increased by more than 10 per cent last year, BTP figures show.
Research also shows young people are more likely to take a risk on the tracks, with seasonal peaks in incidents coinciding with the spring and summer school holidays.
Last year BTP officers caught more than 550 children walking along or messing around on the tracks, and nearly half of those killed were under the age of 25.
Most trespassers say taking a shortcut was their main motivation, followed by thrill-seeking, but going on the tracks can result in serious life-changing injuries or death, a BTP spokesperson stated.
A train driver with 26 years’ experience described a near miss in which he missed a girl on the tracks “by inches” while travelling at about 100 miles per hour: “I noticed a girl and a friend – they were a bit close to the platform edge – and the next thing I saw was the girl stood in the rails with her back to me.
“Panic and fear kicked in. It seemed like an eternity before she was dragged to safety, but it was only a matter of seconds.
“The girl concerned was extremely lucky.”
He added: “Don’t do it. It’s not worth it.
“Don’t even think about going on the tracks. Don’t think about trespassing. Stay away.”
A British Transport Police spokesperson stated: “We’re doing all we can to keep people safe by patrolling areas we know they’re likely to trespass and prevent them from doing so.
“We’re also working closely with Network Rail and train operators to reduce trespass by improving security across the network, using covert surveillance to catch offenders and going into schools to warn children of the dangers of trespassing.
“But we cannot tackle this issue alone. That is why we are urging parents and young people to 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.”
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