The British Transport Police has issued an urgent warning to young people across the East Midlands as figures show trespassing on the regions rail network is on the rise.
In the last year there has been a 13 percent rise in the number of reports of trespass over the summer.
Longer evenings, coupled with the start of the summer holidays can spell danger for Britain’s youth according to British Transport Police as statistics show young people are twice as likely to trespass at this time of year than in the winter.
Now British Transport Police and Network Rail have joined forces to urge parents to warn their children of the dangers of playing on train tracks.
Hayley Bull, from Network Rail, said: “We are urging parents to remind their children that if they are on the railway they are on dangerous ground. It may seem like a good idea to take a shortcut, or like fun to play on the tracks but this is not only illegal, it is also dangerous.”
“Britain has the safest railway in Europe but still too many people lose their lives on the tracks. As the railway gets busier and we electrify more lines to improve services we must work harder to keep young people safe by making them aware of the dangers that exist. Taking a short cut or messing around on the tracks can result in serious life-changing injuries or even death.”
Over the past 10 years, almost 170 young people in the UK have lost their lives after trespassing on the railway. The data shows that just under half of those killed are under the age of 25.
Chief Inspector Stuart Middlesmiss, from British Transport Police, said: “The last thing our officers want to do is knock on someone’s door to tell a parent their child has been killed or seriously injured as a result of trespassing.”
“We’re doing all we can to keep young people safe by patrolling areas where we know they’re likely to trespass and prevent them from doing so. However we cover thousands of miles of track and we cannot tackle this issue alone.”
“That is why we are urging parents and young people to heed this warning and take a reality check when it comes to trespass. It’s not a game; they are real tracks with real trains and real life consequences.