England

Police exercise to keep children off railway lines

Firefighters and actors playing casualties in Off The Rails in 2008
Image caption Realistic scenarios aim to deter children from playing on railway lines

Schoolchildren are to watch a hard-hitting exercise encouraging them not to play on railway lines.

More than 1,000 youngsters from 11 schools in Birmingham, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire will watch four mock accidents caused by railway pranks in Off The Rails 2.

It has been organised by British Transport Police to coincide with the start of the summer holidays.

It takes place in Long Marston, Warwickshire, on 20 and 21 July.

'Realistic as possible'

Insp Lee Gordon said the start of the holidays saw a rise in offences such as trespassing, stone throwing and objects being placed on the rail line.

He said: "We want this to be as realistic as possible to underline the dangers of vandalism and trespassing on the rail network.

"Our key aim is that what these youngsters will see in July will stay with them for a long time and is the sort of experience they will pass on to their friends and peers."

The first Off The Rails event was held in July 2008 when around 400 children witnessed a mock train crash caused as a result of youngsters - played by actors - trespassing on the tracks.

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