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Last Updated: Monday April 06 2009 12:15 GMT

Amir backs rail safety campaign

Ricky and Amir Khan

Amir backs rail safety campaign

Boxer Amir Khan is putting his weight behind a campaign to stop kids playing around on railway lines.

Network Rail's latest figures show more than 5,000 crimes involving young people in 2008, and hopes its No Messin' scheme will reduce that amount.

It's not just playing on tracks that's a problem; someone dropped a concrete block from a bridge onto a train.

The No Messin' campaign doesn't just tell kids off though - it's about giving them something else to do.

Boxing is one of the activities, along with things like football, archery, streetdance and motorcycling that the people behind the plan hope will keep kids busy and away from railways.

A trespasser at a railway station has a lucky escape

Near miss for railway trespasser

Amir said: "No Messin' is great because, instead of just lecturing kids, it gives them the chance to get involved with something new for free.

"Once they're interested and can see the alternatives that are out there, they're much more likely to pay attention to the rail safety message."

Some of the crimes committed on railways were:

• Taking short cuts

• Playing alongside the tracks

• Throwing objects at trains

• Placing obstructions on the line

• Spraying graffiti on railway bridges, fencing and buildings

The No Messin' events
Trowbridge - 6 April 2009
Coventry - 17 April 2009
Livingston - 22 July 2009
Hamilton - 24 July 2009
Warington - 29 July 2009
Basildon - 5 August 2009
Swindon - 12 August 2009
Cardiff - 14 August 2009
Leicester - 19 August 2009

Although the amount of crime on the railway is still high, it is coming down.

A spokesman for Network Rail said it fell 13% from 2007, but he also said that problems increase between 4pm and 7pm and during the school holidays.

It's thought four in every 10 crimes committed on the railways are by young people.