RAILWAY SAFETY ASSEMBLIES

18th July 2017

Today, students across all year groups took part in assemblies featuring guest speakers from the British Transport Police - PCSO Gary Poulson & SPC Jake Everitt, organised by Mr Reynolds.

After introductions to students, PCSO Gary Poulson asked if students had heard of the British Transport Police, or the London Bridge Train Station, to which only one or two replied positively. He then went on to explain the purpose of the BTP, and introduced the fact that all railways in the UK are PRIVATE PROPERTY. He then asked students “Which 3 places around a railway are legal to enter?”, to which students responded:

  1. The train itself
  2. The platform/station concourse
  3. Crossings

They were then made aware that entry to *anywhere* other than those 3 places on the railways is Trespassing – a crime punishable by a £1000 fine in the first instance, and arrest in the second instance. This process involves being taken to the local Police Station, an interview under caution, and probably a prison sentence thereafter. PCSO Poulson then asked “How long do you think the sentence is, for trespassing on a railway?” – answers varied hugely, so he then informed students that it is actually…LIFE! A minimum sentence of 25 years is dispensed for trespassing on railways.

Next, students were told about potential dangers, collisions and debris on lines, along with the consequences of the same – the overhead power lines, for instance, can kill from 3 metres away! Further, the regular trains that travel between Doncaster and Leeds, York or London, actually travel at 125mph – approximately double the legal speed limit for a car. This just emphasised the danger of these vehicles, along with the fact that each carriage weighs approximately 100 tonnes – speeding killing machines, potentially.

The presentation also included an emotive video, which imparted the message about Railway Safety, in a dramatised version of actual events. Finally, students were offered the opportunity to talk with PCSO Poulson and SPC Everitt, as well as to try on some of the equipment that they carry to support in enforcing the law and ensuring the safety of the public.