Warning over children’s rail line ‘games’

Hampden Park level crossing.
Hampden Park level crossing.
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YOUNGSTERS in Hampden Park are being warned about the dangers of the railway line and level crossings and playing ‘chicken’ with the train.

The warning comes after reports that young people have been found playing near the platform edge at Hampden Park, which is the busiest level crossing station in Europe.

British Transport Police said the children were dangling their legs over the platform edge and two youngsters were caught climbing over Brodrick Road footbridge on to Network Rail land.

British Transport Police is asking for parents to make their children aware of the dangers, which could lead to serious injury or worse.

A British Transport Police (BTP) spokesperson said, “Across the country, BTP receives regular reports of youngsters involved in ‘line of route’ offences.

“These include trespassing on the tracks, endangering safety by sitting on the edge of platforms with their legs dangling over the edge, throwing stones and other missiles at passing trains, or placing obstructions on the tracks.

“BTP has received recent reports of groups of children playing near the platform edge, dangling their legs off the edge of the platform and playing chicken with approaching non-stopping trains at Hampden Park rail station in Sussex.

“I cannot emphasise strongly enough the dangers associated with these types of incidents and BTP would urge all parents and responsible adults to emphasise these dangers and ensure youngsters do not participate in such behaviour and keep away from the railway lines.

“People who trespass or commit crime on the railway are putting their own lives at risk, as well as the lives of all the staff and passengers travelling on trains.

“The railways are not a playground. Our message is always to stay safe – always stay away from the platform edge and stay off the railway.

“Luckily, on these occasions, no one was injured – but the scenario could easily have been different.”

Crime Reduction officers are this week visiting local schools in the Eastbourne area to spread rail safety messages to youngsters ahead of the summer holidays – a time when BTP typically sees an increase in offences.