Network Rail and British Transport Police have released figures which show around 700 incidents of trespassing were recorded on the North West rail routes, very alarming figures!
To help reduce the number of trespassing incidents across Network Rail regions, they and the British Transport Police are running a campaign called “You vs Train”, showing the dangers of trespassing on railway property this summer.
Yonder Consulting was asked to survey 2,000 adults (18 years old and above) in the UK, many of who live near or along the North West rail route, on their attitude to trespassing.
One of the most shocking figures was of those surveyed, 18% of adults claimed they would risk their lives to find any object they had lost, such as a mobile phone, purse or wallet. Despite popular belief, adults account for around 75% of all trespassing incidents, often doing so to take shortcuts on their journeys or collect lost objects as mentioned above. According to statistics from the Rail Standards and Safety Board (RSSB), over the past three years, 150 adults have sadly lost their lives while trespassing.
Every death has a huge impact on the persons family, friends and wider community. No one needs to risk their life by trespassing, with both Network Rail and the British Transport Police urging people to never trespass and encourage others to not trespass too.
To show the impacts of trespassing, Network Rail has released a short film following Simon Munn MBE, a Seven-time Paralympian, who lost one of his legs in a trespassing incident, where he tried taking a shortcut home by trespassing.
Simon Munn said: “If you’re thinking about taking a shortcut home by trespassing across the tracks like I did, then there’s only one winner. You can’t mess about with a 400-tonne machine and think that you can get away with it. I was very lucky that I only came away with losing my leg. I’m incredibly proud of my career as a Paralympian, but that night 31 years-ago was a massive reality check. The outcome of my actions irreversibly changed my life and I regret the pain that I put my family through and the driver of the train.”
Community Safety Manager in the North West for Network Rail Chris Mclaughlin said: “You cannot put a price on personal safety. Every time someone strays onto the tracks they are placing themselves at risk of serious, life-changing injury or worse. And the effects of the actions can be devastating, not only for them, but their loved ones and the wider community. We want everyone to know and understand that stepping on the track shatters lives. Please don’t take risks. Don’t leave the people around you to pick up the pieces.”
British Transport Police Superintendent Alison Evans said: “Unfortunately, every summer we see a rise in trespass incidents. This summer, please remember that stepping onto the railway at any time is dangerous and illegal. Accessing the tracks as a shortcut or to retrieve a personal possession you’ve dropped will have consequences that stay with you and those around you for life. Don’t let a moment of impatience ruin everything – it’s just not worth it.”
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