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Last Updated: Monday, 21 June, 2004, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK
Jamieson hails rail safety effort
SPT train leaving station
Children have been found dropping stones on to trains from bridges
Scotland's justice minister has given renewed backing to a co-ordinated campaign against crime on the railways.

Cathy Jamieson said those responsible for railway offences should be aware of the consequences.

She was speaking at the start of Scotland's third annual Railway Crime Week at Glasgow's Central Station.

The campaign, which coincides with Child Safety Week, will highlight efforts by the rail industry to combat crime and improve safety.

Past offences committed on the railways have included people placing obstructions on tracks and bricks being dropped from overhead bridges.

Crime on Scotland's railways costs more than 10m a year.

'Safer Scotland'

Ms Jamieson said: "Its important that those involved in crime, vandalism and other forms of anti-social behaviour on our railways understand the true cost of their actions.

"They are not just risking their own lives, but also the lives of thousands of passengers and staff each year.

"The damage they cause can also result in severe disruption to services and increased travelling costs for law-abiding rail passengers. That is simply not acceptable."

She added: "I am therefore, greatly encouraged by the co-ordinated efforts of the rail industry and the British Transport Police to combat crime on the railways and reduce the number of offences committed on the network.

"This work will support our broader efforts to create a safer, stronger Scotland."

We would ask parents and teachers to join our campaign to stop children and teenagers trespassing on Scotland's railway
Ron McAulay
Network Rail

Route director for Network Rail in Scotland, Ron McAulay, said crime on the railway was a "widespread social problem".

He said: "Although the industry invests a substantial amount of resources annually, route crime and the wider effects can only be tackled through a multi-agency approach.

"We would ask parents and teachers to back the rail industry and join our campaign to stop children and teenagers trespassing on Scotland's railway."

Crime on the railway costs in excess of 10m in Scotland, causing approximately 100,000 minutes' delay to its passengers every year.

Inspector John Clark, of the British Transport Police, said the week was "an extension of activities already taken to combat crime on the railways".

He said: "We have dedicated officers dealing with route crime and others who attend schools in problem areas to get the message across, especially in the run-up to school holidays."


SEE ALSO:
Train narrowly missed youngsters
20 May 04  |  Scotland
Conductor hit in face by brick
28 Apr 04  |  Scotland
Drive to stop rail crime
12 Dec 03  |  Scotland


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