Monday 29 Sep 2003


Region & Route:
| Southern
Network Rail hosted a conference on 24 September at The Imperial War Museum, London to bring together rail industry partners to crack down on route crime on the railways across the South.                         Senior representatives from The British Transport Police, South Central, Connex, Thameslink and Crime Concern teamed up with Network Rail to form a working task force to take a hard line on rail crime.              The task force has committed to work together and explore existing and potential initiatives to reduce crime on the line.  Network Rail commissioned Crime Concern to carry out an audit of railway crime initiatives. The findings of the report were announced at the conference and a route crime prevention strategy will be developed by the task force based on the findings of this research. Crime Concern is a national crime reduction organisation and a registered charity who work with organisations such as Network Rail to support their work in reducing crime and fear of crime in local communities. 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 Rail’s route crime risk manager, Margaret Barker, said: “We were delighted that the industry is working more closely than ever to tackle this serious problem.  I cannot stress more strongly the dangers of trespassing on the railway.  The perpetrators are not only putting their own lives at risk but they are also endangering the lives of passengers and staff. We hope that by working together we can crack down on rail crime once and for all ".

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