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'Lives at risk' plea as trains targeted by vandals
Transport police have warned lives are being put at risk by mindless vandals hurling stones and bricks at trains after revealing officers have been called to more than sixty incidents in the past four years.
British Transport Police (BTP) revealed they will track down and prosecute “reckless” vandals after releasing figures to the Telegraph & Argus which showed there were 67 incidents across more than a dozen locations in Bradford district.
Inspector Richard Price, of BTP, said passengers and staff on trains faced “potentially life-threatening consequences” from those who do not realise the danger of their actions.
He said: “Throwing objects at trains or onto the tracks is mindless vandalism. Although it may seem like fun to those who do it, what they don’t realise are the dangerous implications.
“Behaviour like this is incredibly risky and can result in dire consequences. Passengers and rail staff on trains have been injured, some seriously, by this reckless behaviour.”
The majority of attacks have been at Bradford’s main stations, Bradford Interchange and Forster Square, which have seen 26 such incidents since January, 2008.
There have also been three reports of yobs hurling bricks at trains at Keighley Railway Station in East Parade, Apperley Junction in Apperley Bridge and Mill Lane Junction signal box, among 18 locations in the district.
In the most recent incident, a brick narrowly missed the driver of a train after it smashed through the windscreen as it passed through Laisterdyke , near Jack Lane.
Police released shocking pictures of the damage caused and warned that, as well as causing a danger to the public, vandals have also delayed trains, causing a “major inconvenience” to the public.
The latest warning comes amid an on-going police investigation after a brick was thrown at the window of a moving train as it passed Salts Mill, Saltaire , in what police have described as a “foolish and dangerous act.”
Inspector Price said: “The railway is an inherently dangerous environment, with high speed trains and electric currents, and it should never be treated as a playground or somewhere to hang about.
“We work closely with local communities to address behaviour such as this and to stress its potentially life-threatening consequences.”
He also urged parents and guardians to help to hammer home the message to their children.
He added: “If anyone is caught deliberately obstructing the railway or trespassing on the tracks and endangering people’s safety we will do everything in our power to prosecute you and put you before the courts. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment.”