POLICE have blasted vandals for putting the lives of young children in danger.
Westminster Primary pupils Bethany Williams, eight, and her five-year-old brother Lewis were playing in quiet cul-de-sac Abbots Mews in Westminster when their curiosity led them through a hole in the fence into Jacks Woods. Bethany crossed the Peel-owned docks railway just metres away.
Their grandmother June Bennett, of Princes Road, said the hole was patched up by Network Rail less than 48 hours after it was reported – but people keen to create a shortcut to the nearby industrial estate quickly broke through the palisade fencing again last week.
She warned children’s lives are being put at risk.
She said: “The shunters go up and down there. My granddaughter came back and told her mum she had been on the rails.
“It’s very close to the fence and those woods lead to the railway line that’s electrified. Some child is going to get run over by a train.”
As well as employees making their way through the woods to work, teenagers have also been spotted passing through the fence and starting fires in the woods.
The youngster’s other grandmother, Joan Williams, lives with them on Abbots Mews. She said the fence could only have been broken with cutting tools.
She added: “They’re all little kids in the street there. If a kid sees a squirrel run into the woods, they run after it”
Sgt James Wilson said: “This vandalism has been committed by individuals who have no consideration for the repercussions of their actions.
“It would appear that the vandals have damaged the fence to gain easier access to Jacks Woods. In reality, they have created a potentially very dangerous route across the train tracks.
“Their irresponsibility is further compounded by the fact that there may be children in the area who may be tempted to explore and find themselves in danger.”
Network Rail returned to the fence to repair it yesterday (Tuesday).
Their spokesman Keith Lumley said: “Even though we believe the fence and railway line beyond it is the responsibility of Peel Holdings, we have a duty of care to prevent anyone gaining access because it ultimately leads to our railway line near the station.”