British Transport Police have released sickening CCTV footage to serve as a warning to young people over trespassing on railway lines.
In the last three years, there has been a seven per cent rise in the number of reports of trespass over the summer, the police said.
Longer evenings, coupled with the start of the holidays, spell danger for Britain’s youth as national statistics show young people are twice as likely to trespass at this time of year than in the winter.
This summer, British Transport Police and Network Rail are reminding teenagers and young adults about the dangers of going on the tracks with their #realitycheck campaign and the slogan ‘Real tracks. Real trains. Real life’.
BTP hope their video of near misses and - in the case of the last incident on the CCTV where a man is left paralysed after being struck by a train - will make young people think twice before enterting tracks.
Over the past 10 years, almost 170 young people in the UK have lost their lives after trespassing on the railway. The data shows that just under half of those killed are under the age of 25.
Alice Morton from Network Rail, explains: “We are reminding young people that if they are on the railway, they are on dangerous ground. It may seem like a good idea to take a shortcut, or like fun to play on the tracks, but this is not only illegal, it is also dangerous.
“Britain has the safest railway in Europe but still too many people lose their lives on the tracks. As the railway gets busier and we electrify more lines to improve services, we must work harder to keep young people safe by making them aware of the dangers that exist. Taking a short cut or messing around on the tracks can result in serious life-changing injuries or death.”
• 72% of all trespassers who died over the last 10 years were struck by a train
• Another 17% were electrocuted
• The others fell from structures or trains.
Most trespassers highlight taking a short cut (42%) as their main motivation for committing the crime, followed by thrill-seeking (19%).
In response to the seasonal surge in incidents, officers from British Transport Police are stepping up patrols.
Chief Inspector Tom Naughton said, who is responsible for BTP’s response to trespass, said: “The last thing our officers want to do is knock on someone’s door to tell a parent their loved one has been killed or seriously injured as a result of trespassing.
“We’re doing all we can to keep young people safe by patrolling areas where we know they’re likely to trespass and prevent them from doing so. However, we cover thousands of miles of track and we cannot tackle this issue alone.
“That is why we are urging young people to heed this warning and take a reality check when it comes to trespass. It’s not a game: they are real tracks, with real trains and real life consequences.”