British Transport Police record eight near misses during week of action on the railway
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During a recent week of action on the Bishop Auckland to Darlington line specialist officers from British Transport Police and Network Rail carried out increased patrols to deter trespassers and prevent route crime.
Over four days train drivers were forced to use their emergency brake eight times to avoid hitting trespassers, and seven trespassers were caught and reported.
Police responded to three reports of stone throwing and broke up a small gathering of youths above Shildon Tunnel. Numerous youths were ejected from stations and from near to track access.
Inspector Richard Price said: “The week of action was a success in terms of the impact and results, and these increased and targeted patrols will continue.
“However, these results demonstrate that were it not for the quick reactions of train drivers, who are left shaken and upset by these close calls, things could have ended very differently.
“The railway is not a playground – trespassing on the track can result in death or serious, life-changing injury. We again appeal to parents and guardians to drive home the message to young people in their care: stay off the tracks.”
BTP and Network Rail run a hard-hitting safety campaign, You Vs Train, which highlights the devastating consequences that trespassing on the railway can have.
A new film – Parallel Lines - has been launched to get children and young people to not only think about the devastating consequences that their actions can have on them and their loved ones, but the wider, sometimes hidden harm caused to the community, in particular rail staff.
Olly Glover, Head of Safety, Health and Environment for Network Rail’s North and East route, said: “We’d strongly encourage parents in the region to hammer home the dangers of stepping onto the tracks to their children.
“We’re seeing too many incidents where people seem to be completely oblivious to the dangers they’re putting themselves in. Trains can’t stop quickly or swerve out of the way – so the message is that it’s never safe to hang around on the railway. The consequences can be life changing or even fatal.”
Find out more and view the new campaign film at youvstrain.co.uk