DON’T go anywhere near the railway lines this summer.
That’s the call from British Transport Police (BTP) in Atherton who are warning youngsters across the area to steer clear of the railway during the summer holidays.
Traditionally BTP sees a rise in incidents of trespass and route crime (crimes which often involve things being thrown onto the tracks or at trains) during the summer months as youngsters seem drawn to the railway.
This year BTP is warning the youngsters to stay away from the tracks before they cause harm to themselves – or someone else.
Chief Insp Graham Bamford said: “For some reason children are drawn to the railway and we often see an increase in incidents involving youngsters during the school holidays.
“Sadly once in the rail environment the children often cause trouble for the network by trespassing on the line or damaging tracks and trains.
“They may not even realise what they are doing is dangerous, but it couldn’t be more so.
“By trespassing on the tracks the youngsters are putting their lives on the line.
“There can be no doubt of the potential consequences if a child is struck by a train.
“Similarly by placing objects on the line, or throwing things at trains, the children are risking the safety of passengers and staff on those trains.” When not causing physical harm, these actions can still have a detrimental effect on the running of the railway.
Chief Insp Bamford added: “When the railway hears reports of trespassers, all services in that area are forced to slow down which has the knock-on effect of delaying subsequent trains.
“This can cause delays right across the network.
“Similarly if a train, or the track, is damaged as a result of route crime, the resultant delays, while repairs are made or stricken trains recovered, can be substantial and can leave rail passengers stranded.
“During the summer months our officers will be out and about across the network, paying particular attention to hotspot areas, to deter youngsters from venturing onto the railway and to take action against those who fail to heed the warnings.
“Of course, we don’t want to unnecessarily criminalise people and certainly don’t want to stop children enjoying themselves during their break from school.
“But we simply cannot allow them to behave in such a way that puts the safety of others and the integrity of the rail network at risk.”