Reports of children playing on railway lines near Grantham

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Children are playing on railway lines near Grantham, prompting a warning from the British Transport Police (BTP).

BTP officers are urging children in Grantham to stay off the railway line, after several reports of groups playing on the tracks.

Officers believe that youngsters may be accessing the line just north of Grantham station.

Pc Helen Green said: “The railway line is an incredibly dangerous environment and not one where children should be playing.

“Trespassers don’t just risk their own lives, but also those of rail staff and passengers, as well as causing delays and disruption to train services.

“Don’t let others pressure you into going onto the tracks – it’s just not worth it. If your friends are doing so, don’t get involved. Stay away and call the police.”

On Thursday, July 31, a train driver reported seeing four children on the line close to Grantham station. BTP officers attended and searched the area, but nobody was found. There were 104 separate incidents of railway trespass across Lincolnshire between April and June.

Pc Green added: “As local children return to school, I would ask them to stay clear of the railway tracks at all times. The risk of being killed is very real, with fast-moving trains and high-voltage electricity lines.”

The warning follows this summer’s launch of Operation Intruder, which is seeing BTP officers carry out increased patrols near railway lines around the country in a bid to try to ward off would-be trespassers.

Chief Inspector Tom Naughton said: “Children and young adults need to understand the dangers of the railway – that’s the message from British Transport Police as officers have spent the summer 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, and will continue to do so as the schools go back.

“We need parents to play their part, too – making children aware of how dangerous a place the railway can be.”

Across the country, an average of 14 children and young adults every day trespass on railways.

During increased patrols, BTP is enlisting the help of other police forces and the rail industry, including the use of helicopters, to report trespassers. BTP 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.

Anyone with any information can call BTP on 0800 405040, or text 61016. In an emergency, always dial 999.