PARENTS are being urged to teach their kids about the dangers of railways following a rise in the number of trespass and vandalism incidents. 

In 2021/22, 1669 trespass incidents were recorded in Scotland, up from 1633 in the year 2020/21. 

British Transport Police (BTP) also dealt with 703 vandalism incidents in 2021/22, compared with 661 the previous year. 

The incidents include stone-throwing, damage to shelters, graffiti and fire extinguishers being let off. 

With school holidays approaching, parents are now being asked to let their children know how dangerous trespassing can be by pointing out railway electricity cables are never turned off and you never know when the next train will come due to timetable changes and freight trains travelling at any time of day or night at speeds of up to 100mph.

BTP also highlight trespassing is illegal and anyone caught can face a fine of up to £1000 and be left with a criminal record. 

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British Transport Police Inspector Michael Magee said: "The railway is not a playground.

"Every time someone steps onto the track they are putting themselves at risk of serious, life-changing injury.

"We tend to see a spike in cases of juvenile related trespass and anti-social behaviour during the school holidays.

"Safety is our top priority and we’re asking that we all speak to our loved ones to prevent further damage or serious injury."

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Allan Brooking, Community Safety Manager at Network Rail, said: "Trespassing on the railway can result in life-changing or even fatal injuries. 

"We work closely with the British Transport Police, and other partners, to raise awareness of the dangers of trespass and would urge the public to keep off the tracks."

You can find out more information about rail safety and BTP and Network Rail's safety campaign, You vs Train, HERE