Tuesday 23 Sep 2003


Region & Route:
| Southern
Network Rail hosted a briefing event on 17 September in Crawley, in a bid to raise magistrates’ awareness of the dangers of railway crime.                         The British Transport Police and South Central joined Network Rail to deliver a hard hitting safety message to magistrates from across Surrey and Sussex. Senior representatives from the rail companies explained the major problems associated with railway crime, with the aim of helping these influential members of the community understand its hazards and solicit their support for efforts to combat it. Over 20 magistrates attended and were asked to help raise public awareness and to educate children on its potentially fatal consequences. Each year railway crime takes many young lives and costs the rail industry millions of pounds in service delays and damage to infrastructure. Last year there were 22 accidental deaths due to trespass on Network Rail’s Southern Region alone. Alarmingly, trends of rail crime are on the increase and offenders are getting younger – children as young as five years old have been caught putting objects on the track and eight year olds have been caught playing ‘chicken’ in front of high-speed trains. Every single act of rail crime has the potential to cause serious harm or even death and can have long-term effects for those involved. Network Rails rail crime risk manager, Margaret Barker, said: “We were delighted that so many magistrates were able to attend the event.  Through these briefings , we hope to impress upon magistrates the real dangers of trespassing on the railway as these people are not only putting their own lives at risk but they are also endangering the lives of passengers and staff".

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