British Transport Police is warning youngsters to stay away from railway lines after reports of trespass and criminal damage in the Ellesmere Port, Hooton and Overpool areas.
Over the past few weeks, anti-social behaviour has escalated in the area with reports of fires being set as well as an increase in trespass incidents.
Patrols have been increased to deter and detect criminality and anti-social behaviour but officers fear it could only be a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt or worse, due to the dangers of hanging around near the tracks.
Chief Inspector Jayne Lewis said, “Trespassing on the railway means dicing with death. Every year we deal with hundreds of incidents that often result in tragic consequences or life-changing injuries.
“Parents and carers can play a huge role in preventing tragedy resulting from trespass. Help us by ensuring you know where your teenagers are and talk to them about the dangers of hanging around near the railway. Please, have that conversation with those in your care and encourage them to stay off the tracks.”
Superintendent Alison Evans of British Transport Police, said, “Trespassing on the railway can have serious, life-changing consequences for the individual, their loved ones and the wider community. Please, make sure you know the rail safety basics and pass that knowledge onto your loved ones. Stay off the tracks.”
Anyone who spots someone trespassing is asked to get in touch by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40. Always ring 999 in an emergency.
British Transport Police and Network Rail run a hard-hitting safety campaign, You Vs Train, which highlights the devastating consequences that trespassing on the railway can have. Find out more at youvstrain.co.uk.
Important messages for parents and carers to share:
- The rail network is never switched off. Electricity powers the overhead cables and third rail 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The third rail is the most dangerous as it looks just like an ordinary rail, but it carries 750 volts. The DC current that flows through is three times as powerful as your home electricity.
- The rail network does not go to sleep once the last passenger services have run. Freight trains run all through the night.
- Never anticipate that you know when the next train is due. The reduced number of passenger trains running on the network during the day will allow more freight services to operate during the daytime hours, transporting vital goods around the country. A freight train can travel at up to 100mph.