Monday 16 Feb 2009


Region & Route:
Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western
Reading FC’s captain Graeme Murty has united with Network Rail to kick off this February’s half term message – mess around on the railway and risk your life.

February sees the launch of new and exclusive content to featuring Reading FC’s current, longest serving member Graeme Murty. During a video interview before his loan to Charlton Athletic, Murty reveals what motivates him, gives advice on how to follow in his footsteps and explains what his pre-match rituals are. Get to know Graeme a little better by viewing the quick-fire round and find out what kind of car he drives and whether he’s a red or brown sauce kind of guy – just don’t ask him about Marmite though.

Graeme and Reading FC are supporting Network Rail’s No Messin’ campaign which aims to highlight the dangers of taking risks on the railway and encourages young people to get involved in more healthy and fun activities such as sport.

Graeme explains why the No Messin’ campaign is important to him: “It is vital that people in the community have an effect on their local community. We (Reading FC) have been really well supported and we need to give something back.

“It’s about making kids aware that the areas we are talking about are not safe to play on, not safe to trespass on and are going to lead to trouble and lead to them being hurt. We need to take an active step, the more we can do the better.”

Liz Heading, Network Rail’s community safety manager, said: “The railway is not a place to mess about with your friends and those trespassing or taking short cuts across it are putting their lives at risk. Our campaign tries to make people think twice about what they’re doing and hopefully save lives."

Notes to editors

Railway Crime - The Facts: • Latest figures show over 580 reported incidents of trespass and vandalism in the Thames Valley area over a 12 month period. • Railway crime is a serious and ongoing problem for the rail industry with up to 60 people losing their lives each year by taking short cuts or messing around on the tracks and costing the industry over £264 million a year. • Trains can travel the length of 3 football pitches in just 5 seconds. • Examples of railway crime include trespassing by running across the tracks or taking short cuts, spraying graffiti, throwing objects, placing debris on the line and interfering with level crossing barriers and equipment. • In the last five years one in four accidental fatalities was of someone aged eight to 18. • Trespassing on the railway is a criminal offence, which carries a fine of up to £1,000. A child of eight years or older in Scotland and 10 years or older in England and Wales can be prosecuted by the police. A child of 12 years or older can be sent to a residential care unit. In Scotland, a parent/guardian will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal who will give them a reparation order which may mean that they have to attend a course or take part in community punishment projects. • Putting objects on the tracks (like rocks or shopping trolleys) could cause a train accident which may hurt or kill other people. If you do this, then you can be prosecuted by the police. The maximum penalty for causing a train accident is life imprisonment. If a child is charged with causing a train accident, then a parent/guardian may be prosecuted by the police too. • Graffiti is also a serious crime which can result in a prison sentence. If you are caught trespassing or vandalising on the railway, then you will be prosecuted by the police.

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