Friday 27 Aug 2010

BANK HOLIDAY CRACKDOWN AT WORCESTER’S RAIL CRIME HOTSPOT

Region & Route:
Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western

PHOTOCALL -

When -
Friday, 27 August 2010, at 1300
Where - Brickfields footpath crossing, off Astwood Road, Worcester
What - Network Rail to deploy human scarecrows to clamp down on trespassers and vandals at Brickfields footpath crossing
Who - Mavis Choong on 07515 620 384 or Alan Milne on 07825 259 453 to confirm attendance
***

Rail crime offenders at Brickfields will be targeted by Network Rail in a crackdown on dangerous and illegal behaviour at the level crossing.   ‘Human scarecrows’ will be deployed throughout the bank holiday weekend to patrol the region’s top rail crime hotspot.
 

In the last 12 months alone, there have been more than 20 reported incidents, with a near-miss involving three youths early this year at Brickfields.   The majority of the incidents recorded involved young people, these incidents included: objects - including chains and padlocks - being left on the line and children playing chicken. 

Alan Milne, community safety manager, Network Rail, said: “The level and scale of misuse at Brickfields is quite shocking, especially when you consider the majority of these incidents involve young people.  Like all level crossings, Brickfields is safe if used correctly, through their actions these people are risking serious consequences.”

“Despite our concerted efforts, the rate of these incidents remains worrying.  We believe a more long-term solution needs to be progressed and we are talking with the local authority to close the crossing altogether, before a tragedy happens."

Sgt Mark Harris, British Transport Police, said: “British Transport Police is committed to working closely with Network Rail and colleagues across the rail industry to help make motorists and pedestrians more aware of Brickfield level crossing and to educate them to use it correctly and safely. Where necessary we will continue to take robust action against motorists and pedestrians who continue to misuse crossings and therefore put their own lives, as well as those of other people, at risk.

"Level crossings – and other crossings where road, footpaths and rail cross – are designed to keep people safe. And, when used correctly, that is exactly what they do. But, as the figures suggest, when people ignore the warnings, there can be serious, and sometimes tragic, consequences. I would urge anyone who witnesses motorists or pedestrians misusing level crossings to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 immediately.”

Notes to editors

Network Rail is currently in contact with the local authority about closing the crossing due to the extent of misuse and criminal activity.  There is a nearby diversionary route under a road bridge.

The 'human scarecrows' are Network Rail operational staff who will be patrolling the crossing during the bank holiday providing a visible deterrent against trespass and vandalism at the crossing. The patrols will start on 27 August to 30 August.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Journalists
Network Rail press office -Western route
07730 354394
MediaRelationsWestern@networkrail.co.uk

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