HUNDREDS of young people are risking their lives every year by trespassing on railways, according to the British Transport Police (BTP).
According to the BTP every day as many as 14 children and young adults aged between 14 and 25, are putting their lives and those of rail passengers and staff at risk by trespassing on railways.
Such incidents in Gwent include a passenger train near Abergavenny railway station which struck objects including large concrete slabs, bricks, metal and wood, that had been placed on the track. This was the third similar incident in the area within two weeks. Meanwhile a cyclist caused more than 14 hours of delays to services after he walked along the tracks in Caerphilly during the morning commuter period.
Figures show that between April and June this year BTP recorded almost 2,400 trespass incidents, of which almost 1,300 involved people aged 25 or younger
To tackle this problem, BTP officers will target trespassers at problematic locations around the country under scheme Operation Intruder. Officers will carry out increased patrols in a bid to ward off would-be trespassers who think the track is a place to hang out or commit vandalism.
BTP is working in partnership with 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 Mark Jones, who is heading up the British Transport Police operation in Wales, said: “Children and young adults need to understand the dangers.”