Patrols to tackle suicides on Welwyn Hatfield and Potters Bar railway lines
PUBLISHED: 17:59 01 October 2013 | UPDATED: 17:59 01 October 2013
POLICE will patrol train lines in Welwyn Hatfield this month in an attempt to target trespassing and attempted suicides.
British Transport Police (BTP) will be patrolling the area as part of Operation Avert which will tackle rail disruption.
There will be increased patrols by neighbourhood policing and response teams as well as plain clothes enforcement officers. Statistics from the BTP show that since February 2011 there have been five fatalities in Welwyn Hatfield; one each in Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and Cuffley and two in Potters Bar.
There have also been 27 tresspassing offences during that time.
Simon Letouze, a spokesman from BTP, said that while these figures were quite low, Welwyn Garden City would see extra patrols because the lines through it were very busy, and if trains were disrupted then ‘severe’ delays could be caused higher up.
Detective Chief Superintendent Miles Flood, who is leading Operation Avert, said: “Suicides and attempted suicides are individual tragedies.
“But these and trespass events also expose others to increased risk through trains being stuck in remote locations for long periods, the temptation for passengers to self-evacuate from trains onto live lines and overcrowding at stations.
“Working with Network Rail, Samaritans and other partners, I believe we can make a real difference – to the thousands of passengers whose journeys are delayed by trespassers on the line and to vulnerable people in need of help.”
BTP will patrol 64 sites throughout the country and 11 sites on the London Underground.
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