Thursday 8 Jan 2004

STAY OFF THE TRACKS AND STAY ALIVE, SAYS NETWORK RAIL AND BRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE

Region & Route:
South East
Southern
Network Rail and the British Transport Police are urging youngsters to stay away from the railway lines following a recent increase in trespass and vandalism around Merstham. Typical incidents include youths placing objects on the line, posing not only a risk to the trespasser but also to trains and passengers. There have been over 18 malicious acts of route crime carried out near the Merstham Tunnel over the last year. Serious incidents have included objects such as logs being placed on the tracks as well as stone throwing at trains. Stones and other missiles thrown at trains can have a devastating effect on both the train driver and passengers as well as causing damage to trains and infrastructure costing many thousands of pounds. Placing debris on the tracks has the potential to derail a train. Every single act of route crime could cause serious harm or even death and can have long-term effects for those involved.  Anyone who has information on these incidents is urged to call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.  The community is asked to report all incidents of rail crime to British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40. The number is open 24 hours a day and calls are free. -more- Merstham – 2 Margaret Barker, Route Crime Risk Manager, Network Rail commented, “I am concerned not only for the safety of the youths carrying out these acts, but also for the safety of passengers and rail staff. Trespassing on the railway is a serious offence and I would ask parents to help us remind children to stay off the line and not put themselves in a position where they could be injured or killed. I urge those who are old enough to recognise the dangers to keep off the railway tracks. If they ignore the warnings and go on to commit an offence they will face prosecution.” Chief Inspector Otter, British Transport Police added, “ I cannot stress enough the dangers involved in either throwing items at trains, placing items on the tracks or actually trespassing on the railway lines. Any person caught committing such acts will be reported with a view to court action and could face long terms of imprisonment if subsequently found guilty.”

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 - South East route
020 3357 7969
southeastroutecomms@networkrail.co.uk

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