Hundreds risk their lives trespassing on West Midlands railway tracks

Hundreds of children and young adults in the West Midlands are risking their lives by trespassing on railway tracks, latest figures have revealed.

A total of 145 trespassing incidents were recorded in the region between April and July this year.

British Transport Police (BTP) said more than half of the trespassers were aged between 14 and 25.

Police officers are now stepping up patrols in a bid to deter people from stepping on to the tracks.

There have also been 19 cases of stone throwing on the railway as well as problems of criminal damage.

See also: 51 callouts over children on West Midlands railway tracks.

The Safer Travel Partnership (STP), which includes the transport authority Centro and is tasked with combating crime on the West Midlands public transport system, said the trespassing problems increased during the summer months.

In the coming weeks, officers will visit problematic locations around the region.

They will also report any damage to railway property, such as broken fences, so they may be repaired and help to stop people gaining access to the track.

Inspector Lee Gordon from the Safer Travel Partnership said: "Children and young adults need to understand the dangers of the railway and the risk this poses, not just to their lives, but to others working and travelling on the rail network.

"We monitor all offences carefully, and there's a sizeable increase in the number of incidents we see during the lighter nights".

Mark Goodall, London Midland's head of route for Cross City services - the busiest commuter route in the West Midlands - said: "The statistics show that we are currently experiencing around 50 trespassing incidents a month and it's frightening to think what the consequences of this may be".