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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 8 April, 2003, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Eye-in-sky tracks rail vandals
Children on railway line
The helicopter will be used to deter children from playing on the lines
A helicopter is taking to the skies to help the fight against trespassing and vandalism on Oxfordshire's railway lines.

Network Rail is using a helicopter with a thermal-imaging camera to monitor lines during the Easter school holidays.

The move comes after Oxford was named the second worst area for rail crime on the route to and from London's Paddington station.

The initiative, called Operation Skyhawk, aims to catch trespassers as well as to deter youngsters from straying near the tracks during the school holidays.

The helicopter will patrol the Chiltern Railways route equipped with a 360-degree zoom camera.

Stuart Yeatman, of Chiltern Railways, said the 'eye-in-the-sky' operation was just one part of a wider safety programme tackling crime on the tracks.

The air patrol started on Tuesday and will last for three weeks.

Rail vandalism down
24 Feb 03  |  England
Children warned of rail dangers
17 Feb 03  |  England
School rail campaigns on track
13 Feb 03  |  England
Helicopter tracks rail vandalism
22 Oct 02  |  England

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