£350K INITIATIVE TO FENCE-IN RAIL CRIME OFFENDERS IN THE WEST COUNTRY: No Messin Live Logo Yellow

Friday 29 Aug 2008

£350K INITIATIVE TO FENCE-IN RAIL CRIME OFFENDERS IN THE WEST COUNTRY

Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Southern: Wessex
| Wales & Western
| Southern
Network Rail is toughening its measures to tackle railway crime. It is installing over 4000 metres of fencing around the railway in the South West, to make it more difficult for trespassers or those looking to commit crimes such as vandalism or graffiti to access the railway.

Long enough to go round Wembley Stadium four times, the steel fences will be put up at 24 locations that include top rail crime hotspots – Plymouth, Weston-Super-Mare and Bristol.

Network Rail started erecting the fences ahead of the school summer holidays when rail crime tends to peak. Last year, more than half of the recorded incidents in the South West occurred between March and August.

Chris Fuoco, Area General Manager, Network Rail, says,

“Erecting fences is another effective tool in our armoury to tackle railway crime. Our best fighting tool however is prevention and getting safety messages across by engaging with young people in schools, local youth groups and community groups. We will continue to work with them to raise awareness throughout the summer, when we will also be organising our No Messin’ event, to help prevent crime and ultimately save lives.”

Speaking at Network Rail's No Messin' event at Weston-Super-Mare today, MP John Penrose says,

“Trespassing on the track, throwing things at trains and putting objects on the line are extremely dangerous and can put lives at risk. Unfortunately Weston-super-Mare is one of the ten worst towns for this type of problem in the country. If placed correctly the new fences should help to reduce the problem, but making sure local young people understand the dangers is vital too. That’s why this event as well as Network Rail’s work with local schools is so important.”

Network Rail spends £3.5 million alone every year to remove graffiti on railway property and railway crime as a whole costs the industry £265 million in total each year.

There were over 15,000 reported incidents of railway crime in around 3,500 places across Britain – although it is estimated that the true figure is much higher as much goes unreported. Over 2,200 objects were placed on tracks across Britain, and nearly 3,000 missiles were thrown or fired at trains.

Sites involving child trespass and near-miss reports will be tackled first.

MEDIA INVITE:

Journalists are invited to the No Messin' event at Weston-Super-Mare anytime on 29 - 30 Aug from 12pm - 4pm. Deputy Mayor and Councillor Dr Mike Kellaway-Marriott and MP John Penrose will be at the event on 29 Aug from 12pm. Please contact Mavis Choong on 01793 515 267 or mavis.choong@networkrail.co.uk to arrange for an interview with key spokespeople or to organise photography.

Notes to editors

- Network Rail’s annual No Messin’ summer event for the West Country will be held at Weston-Super-Mare on 29 - 30 August this year, at the Hutton Moor Leisure Centre. Activities will include DJ-ing, football, athletics, bike skills, karate, cheerleading, street dance, tennis, tri-golf and many more. The event is organised to engage young people in activities and to steer them away from playing on the railway. - No Messin’ recently won the prestigious Business in the Community BUPA Healthy Communities Award. The award, which is supported by the Department of Health and known as the 'Big Tick', recognises companies that work with voluntary and public sectors to improve the health and well-being of UK communities.

Contact information

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Journalists
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MediaRelationsWestern@networkrail.co.uk

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