Video shows youngsters gambling with death on North East rail lines
North East youngsters are gambling with their lives on the region's railways.
A new video from British Transport Police and Network Rail shows youngsters trespassing on the lines, including at Sunderland's Millfield Metro Station and Fellgate in Jarrow.
Longer evenings, coupled with the start of the holidays, spell danger for Britain’s youth as statistics show trespass on the railways doubles in August compared to December.
Over the past 10 years, almost 170 young people in the UK have lost their lives after trespassing on the railway. Just under half of those killed were under 25.
Vicki Beadle, Community Safety Manager from Network Rail, said: “We are urging parents to remind their children that if they are on the railway, they are on dangerous ground.
"It may seem like a good idea to take a short cut, 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."
Almost a quarter of all trespassers killed on the railways in the last ten years died after being hit by a train, around a fifth were electrocuted and others fell from structures or trains.
Most trespassers highlight taking a short cut as their main motivation for committing the crime, followed by thrill-seeking.
In response to the seasonal surge in incidents, officers from British Transport Police is stepping up patrols across the region.
Inspector Brian Buddo who is responsible for the service's response to trespass in the North East said: "The last thing our officers want to do is knock on someone’s door to tell a parent their child has been killed or seriously injured as a result of trespassing.
"We’re doing all we can to keep children 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 parents and 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."
To find out how to keep your children safe on the railway this summer visit http://www.networkrail.co.uk/safety-education/information-for-parents/
The video shows:
1. Train dash-cam approaching bridge – see number 4.
2. Youths lying on the tracks at Woolston station, Southampton. 2 August 2015.
3. Youths collecting items from tracks Fellgate station, Sunderland.
4. Near-miss as a woman collects an item from the tracks at Adderley Park station, Birmingham. 27 November 2015.
5. Children placing items on the tracks. 25 May 2016, Morlais, Wales.
6. Children walking along the tracks at Garnant branch crossing, Ammanford in Wales. 5 June 2016.
7. Near-miss as children run down a bank in Shotton, Wales.
8. Clip from 2013 of items being passed from track to platform.
9. People running across the tracks at Millfield Metro station, Sunderland.
10. Near-miss at Sandal and Agbrigg station, West Yorkshire. 7 September 2015.
11. A man was left paralysed after taking a shortcut on the line at Kings Norton station, Birmingham. 14 February 2015.