Friday 10 Dec 2004


Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
Network Rail and the British Transport Police today revealed that more than 140 criminal offences, including crimes on the railway, have occurred in Greenock and the surrounding area this year so far.  The figures were released during a tour of Greenock Central Station attended by David Cairns, MP for Greenock and Inverclyde, as part of the ‘Safer Scotland’ campaign.   The statistics show that crime on or near the railway line to be the most common type of railway incident with 62 individual offences.  In addition, the figures, which cover the period between January and November this year, show theft of passenger property and theft of railway property to be common types of railway crime in the area.    David Cairns, MP for Greenock and Inverclyde, said:  “It is encouraging to see first-hand the efforts being made by Network Rail and the British Transport Police to stamp out this kind of anti-social behaviour.  We are appealing in particular to parents to educate their children on the dangers of playing on or near the railway line and to be aware of where their children are when they are out playing.  It is vital that children realise that the railway is not a playground or a shortcut and we appeal to all members of the community to be vigilant and report anyone trespassing or vandalising the railway.”               Chief Inspector, Alex McGuire of the British Transport Police said:  “Greenock and the surrounding community has been highlighted as an area where repeated incidents occur and as part of the ‘Safer Scotland’ campaign our main thrust has been to target vandalism and disorder on the railway.  All officers across Scotland have been provided with intelligence information giving details about the types and patterns of railway crimes as well as details of specific railway offences.  In addition our officers have been out this week to Greenock High School to get the safety message across to young people.  Working in partnership with Scottish Police forces as well as Network Rail and other rail industry partners, enables us to be an even stronger force against crime on the railway.”   Raymond Johnstone, Network Rail’s Area General Manager for the west of Scotland, said: “Safety is our top priority and we need to get home the message that being on or near the railway line is dangerous and can have serious consequences.    “Placing objects on the line can cause damage to the railway but more importantly it puts lives at risk, not only to those committing the offence but to passengers and staff.  Everyone, including parents, has a part to play in getting the serious message across that playing and acts of vandalism on the railway can result in serious injury, and even death.   “As well as supporting this and other initiatives, we anticipate spending almost £300,000 by the end of this year in the west of Scotland, to improve existing fencing which will increase security around the railway line.”   Anyone witnessing trespass or acts of vandalism should contact the British Transport Police on freephone number: 0800 40 50 40.   The local MP is supporting ‘Safer Scotland’ a campaign supported by Network Rail, the British Transport Police and other rail industry partners, to reduce criminal activity on the railway line.   David Cairns visited Greenock Central Station where he witnessed a demonstration of the CCTV cameras and help points located in the station.  This equipment has been installed to help combat the problem of anti-social behaviour in and around the station.  The local MP also visited areas where repeated incidents of railway crime have been committed in Greenock and the surrounding community.

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