Translink NI Railways and the police have issued a reminder to parents and young people about the dangers of trespassing on railway tracks.
The warning, which is backed by Newtownabbey Policing and Community Safety Partnership, comes after recent incidents of anti-social behaviour on the tracks near Monkstown, particularly in the vicinity of the Brambles and Oaklands developments.
Keith Pollock, Level Crossing Safety Coordinator with Translink said: “We’re aware of incidents of trespass on railway property at Monsktown by young people from this area and we’ve found evidence of anti-social behaviour including drug and alcohol use on the tracks.
“We have just delivered information leaflets to around 500 homes in the area, reminding residents of the risks associated with trespassing on the railway tracks. The safety of our employees, passengers and local residents is our top priority, but if the risk of serious injury or even death isn’t enough to deter, we are highlighting the fact that Translink will prosecute trespassers, leading to a fine of up to £1,000 and/or a criminal record.”
Urging parents of young people to know where their children are and what they’re doing, Newtownabbey PSNI Area Commander, Chief Inspector Stephen Reid added: “The dangers around railway lines are obvious, however young people seem to be oblivious to this and they must take heed of our warnings. The risk of injury and death through misbehaviour in an area where high speed trains operate is extremely high and the use of drugs and alcohol adds to that risk.
“Police officers in this area do not want to call at your home to tell you your child has been in an horrific accident.”
Cllr Robert Hill, a member of the Policing and Community Safety Partnership, concluded: “Anti-social behaviour and drugs misuse are two of the key issues for the PCSP, so we were happy to work closely with residents and other agencies to put in place actions to address this situation which is negatively impacting on the quality of life of those who live in the area.”