Police are issuing an urgent warning after a spate of anti-social behaviour, including criminal damage and vandalism, occurred on and around the railways in Sheffield.
Incidents in the Butterthwaite area have seen trains hitting large objects such as trollies, fence panels and ladders after behaviour escalated from trespass and stone-throwing to more serious actions.
Consequently, schools around Ecclesfield found themselves visited by British Transport Police officers, who issued a stern message to young people about the dangers of trespassing.
Increased patrols are now taking place in the area, including by plain clothes officers.
PC Darren Martin said: “Incidents of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage are a major concern. Placing items on the line and stone throwing are not trivial matters – someone could be seriously hurt and even cause a derailment apart from the disruption to journeys for hundreds of passengers.
“The safety of passengers and rail staff is our priority which is why we are increasing resources in the area and anyone who is caught carrying out criminal damage will be brought before the courts.”
Trespassing on the railway carries its own risks. Every year British Transport Police says it deals with hundreds of incidents that often result in tragic consequences or life-changing injuries.
PC Martin added: “The railway is not a playground – it is strictly out of bounds. I urge parents to check where their teenagers are and remind them of the dangers of hanging around near railway lines.
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 stay off the tracks.”
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.
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