South Yorkshire children dicing with death on rail tracks

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Children are being warned to stay away from railway tracks as new figures show trespass incidents have increased in South Yorkshire.

Over the last three years there have been 178 incidents in and around Sheffield and Doncaster.

In 2013 there were 26 trespass incidents reported in Sheffield, 24 in 2014 and 34 last year.

There were 26 incidents in Doncaster 2013, 35 in 2014 and 33 last year.

British Transport Police and Network Rail have issued a safety warning to coincide with the start of the school holidays.

Over the past 10 years, almost 170 young people in the UK have lost their lives trespassing on the railway

Vicki Beadle, Community Safety Manager for 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 shortcut, or like fun to play on the tracks, but this is not only illegal, it is also dangerous.

“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.”

Of the trespassers who have died over the last 10 years, 72 per cent were struck by a train, 17 per cent electrocuted and the others fell from structures or trains.

Chf Insp Lorna McEwan, of British Transport Police, 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 young people 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.”