Wednesday 5 Jul 2017
Trespass warning issued to children in Scotland as summer holidays begin
British Transport Police and the ScotRail Alliance are today issuing a warning to youngsters throughout Scotland – trespassing on the railway can be lethal.
As schools break out for summer, BTP and the ScotRail Alliance each record a spike in trespass incidents involving children.
Often, the youngsters involved are out to have fun and rarely recognise the danger they put themselves in by being on the railway. Both trains, and the 25,000 volts travelling through overhead cables on sections of Scotland railway, have the potential to cause fatal injuries.
Just days into this year’s summer break, worrying incidents have already started to occur.
On Sunday, July 2, two boys were spotted trespassing on the west coast mainline near Wishaw, while on Friday, June 30, children were also seen trespassing near Dalmeny station. In another serious incident on Monday, June 26, a group of youths were seen jumping and pushing each other off the platform at Muirend station.
David Lister, safety director for the ScotRail Alliance, said: “Trespassing is extremely dangerous and can have tragic consequences for those involved. Trains travelling at speed take a long time to stop and anyone struck by one is likely to be killed or very badly injured.
“We take trespass on our infrastructure extremely seriously and work closely with British Transport Police to educate the public on the dangers of misusing the railway. Anyone who sees a trespasser, or who has concerns about specific locations where they know trespassers are gaining access to the railway, can report them to our national helpline 24-hours-a-day on 03457 114141.”
Leading BTP’s efforts to reduce trespass incidents, Inspector Stewart Strong, said: “What is very worrying about these incidents is that youngsters simply do not realise the danger they put themselves in. Every day, we are called to similar incidents and during the summer we record a spike in trespass incidents involving children.
“Trains travel at incredibly high speeds and can often approach silently. Before a child has time to react they could be struck and killed.
“My officers have experienced first hand the devastation families are left with when their child is killed whilst playing on the tracks. Therefore, I would like to plead directly to parents and carers. Talk to your children and explain to them the hazards of the railway, it is not a playground.”
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