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Police issue warning as more objects are thrown at trains
Railway police have warned that innocent people could be killed if idiots continue to throw missiles at trains from a Bradford footbridge.
Two more train services were targeted this week when an old television and a brick were hurled from the Dalcross Grove footbridge in West Bowling – despite earlier police warnings after a spate of incidents at the hotspot.
British Transport Police was already investigating the damaging of three trains over the August Bank Holiday weekend when bricks were thrown from the bridge.
The latest attacks both took place on Monday, despite an increase in police patrols in the area. A brick was thrown at the 11.48am Manchester Victoria to Selby train as it passed under the bridge. A short time later, the driver of the 11.44am Selby to Wakefield Westgate service reported that an old television had been thrown from the bridge and had struck the front of the train.
Nobody was injured and no damage was caused to either of the trains.
But Inspector Richard Price, of British Transport Police, said: “I really cannot emphasise enough how dangerous this is and I am very concerned that if we don’t find these destructive vandals someone is going to get seriously injured or even killed.”
Insp Price said that since the Bank Holiday incidents, officers had been carrying out high visibility patrols and house-to-house inquiries to warn people of the dangers of such reckless behaviour, and to try and identify those responsible.
He added: “The Dalcross footbridge is in a well-populated area, with a housing estate on one side of the track and an industrial estate on the other. This most recent offence took place at midday and whoever threw the objects, particularly the television, over the bridge must have carried them to the location. Did anyone see someone carrying an old television?”
Insp Price said fly-tipping from the bridge was a common practice and officers have discovered mattresses, tyres and even a wheelie bin on the tracks.
He added: “This is totally unacceptable and we will take action against anyone who is using the railway as a dumping ground.
“I would like to appeal to all parents in the area to ask themselves if they know where their children are hanging around, and speak to them to reinforce our messages about the dangers of such behaviour. Throwing objects at a train or onto the tracks is incredibly dangerous. Drivers and passengers have been badly injured and even killed and there is a real potential for a train to be derailed.
“We all have friends and families that travel on public transport. Let’s work together to keep them safe.”
Richard Allan, Northern Rail area director, said: “Despite the determined work of the British Transport Police, vandals are continuing to throw objects at our trains in the Bradford area.
“On this particular occasion, we are extremely fortunate no-one was injured, but these destructive acts are putting the safety of our employees and passengers at risk.
“I would urge anyone with information on these incidents to contact the British Transport Police immediately before someone is seriously injured.”
Anyone with any information should contact British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40, quoting 259 of 3 September 2012, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.