250 train crimes by young people in Sussex

Young people in Sussex and East Surrey are putting their lives in danger by taking deliberate risks on train tracks, says a report by National Rail today.

They have released figures and details of crimes committed on their trains over the last year - including an incident in which a laser pen was shone into the eyes of a train driver as he came into Hove.

There were 249 incidents of trespassing and vandalism reported in the last year. Young people have placed objects on tracks, and been playing dangerous games such as 'chicken'.

Watch video of children playing on the tracks

Among the shocking examples of rail crime are bricks being thrown at trains and railway workers, and objects as diverse as garden chairs and sandbags being placed on the line. The most common objects placed on the tracks are shopping trolleys and bicycles. Trains need expensive repairs after hitting an object, and are a danger to drivers and passengers.

But young people also put themselves at risk, by walking over tracks or daring each other to stand on them. In the UK, 49 people died after trespassing on the tracks in the last year, with a quarter of those who died aged 11 - 20.

As the summer holidays begin, Network Rail is encouraging young people to take up more positive activities and not put themselves at risk of serious injury or worse, by taking unnecessary risks on the tracks. Its No Messin' campaign, which is headed by Amir Khan, is working with local community groups and clubs across Britain.

You can check out the website here.