British Transport Police in Cheshire have put extra patrols in place in a bid to prevent a rise in the number of incidents of trespass on rail lines during the school summer holidays.
Every year, youngsters are lured to the railway, either out of curiosity or boredom, seemingly oblivious to the risks of high speed trains and high voltage overhead lines.
BTP Inspector Neil Hubbs has issued a stark warning: trespassing on the railway is lethal – chances are you will be killed or left with horrific life changing injuries. Don’t risk your life.
Now schools have broken up for summer, BTP are expecting to record a spike in trespass incidents involving children particularly in the Hartford and Weaverham areas of Northwich.
Officers have been visiting schools in the run up to the holidays, talking to youngsters about why the railway is out of bounds and are now calling on parents and guardians to do their bit.
Inspector Hubbs said: “Playing near the railway is literally dicing with death – it can be a deadly place. Just recently we dealt with the incredibly tragic death of a young lad on the railway, we don’t want to see this happen again.
“We need parents to sit down with their children and warn them about the dangers of the railway. There are plenty of safe places to play during the holidays - the railway is not one of them.
“Our message couldn’t be simpler – stay away from the railway. Parents, make it your business to know where your child is hanging about when they’re not at home. Please don’t let us have to be knocking on your door to tell you your child won’t be coming home.”
Officers are calling on anyone who sees trespassers on or around the railway to report it immediately – either by texting 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40.
Inspector Hubbs added: “We understand youngsters, particularly during the summer with lighter evenings, may be drawn to the railway but they are real tracks, with real trains and real life consequences – be smart and stay away.”