TRANSPORT police have warned ‘stay off the tracks’ after revealing that hundreds of people are risking their lives by trespassing on railway lines.
British Transport Police (BTP) says more than half of all railway trespassers are aged between 14 and 25.
The lighter evenings usually result in an increase in trespass cases, some of which include also vandalism.
Between April and June this year, BTP recorded almost 2,400 trespass incidents, of which almost 1,300 involved people aged 25 or younger.
The CTV footage here shows youngsters playing on the platform at Fellgate Metro station in Jarrow, and encroaching onto the track.
In the coming weeks, under the banner of Operation Intruder, BTP officers will target trespassers at problematic locations around the country, including the North East.
Officers will carry out increased patrols in a bid to try to deter would-be trespassers who think the track is a place to hang out or commit vandalism.
BTP is enlisting the help of other police forces and the rail industry, including the use of helicopters, to report trespassers.
Officers will also report any damage to railway property, such as broken fences, so it can be repaired, helping to stop people gaining access to the track.
Inspector Brian Buddo of BTP said: “Children, teenagers and even some adults need to understand the dangers of the railway – that’s the message as our officers spend the next two months targeting trespassers across the network.
“While taking trespassers through the courts remains open to BTP, the main focus of this campaign is prevention – stopping people getting on the track in the first place.
“Our officers have already visited a number of schools to warn children, face-to-face, of the dangers of straying onto the railway.
“We need parents to play their part, too – making children aware of how dangerous a place the railway can be.”
Inspector Buddo added, “If you recognise anyone captured on the CCTV footage, please contact us.”
Anyone with information is asked to call British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 405040 or text 61016.
Alternatively, the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111.
In all calls, please quote incident reference PSUB/B6 of 28/07/14.