Police warning over dangers of playing near railway lines

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Police in Antrim and Newtownabbey, in partnership with Translink, council, and the local Policing and Community Safety Partnership, are reminding young people about the dangers of playing on and close to railway lines.

Sergeant Brian Lane explains: “In the last few weeks we have received several reports of young people drinking and hanging around the railways lines in both Antrim and Newtownabbey which is giving us cause for concern.

“With the lighter evenings and the onset of the summer holidays we appreciate young people want to get together but to do so at railway lines can only lead to someone being seriously injured or killed. We will be factoring these areas into our patrols but we need parents and guardians to reinforce the message at home.”

Mark Atkinson, Head of Civil Engineering at Translink said: “We’re aware of incidents of trespass on railway property at Antrim and Newtownabbey by young people from these areas and we’ve found evidence of antisocial behaviour including alcohol use on the tracks.

“We would appeal to parents and guardians who are responsible for young people to make them aware of the many serious risks associated with trespassing on the railway lines, from serious life changing injuries to death. We are highlighting the fact that Translink will prosecute trespassers, leading to a fine of up to £1000 and/or a criminal record.”

Councillor Linda Clarke, Chair of Antrim and Newtownabbey PCSP added: “Our young people need to protect themselves and their friends this summer. I too would stress how dangerous railway lines are and urge young people to stay away from these areas. Parents also need to be vigilant and aware of where their children are going.”