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Working with the Scouts to keep people safe

With over 20,000 miles of railway track across the country, keeping passengers, staff and the public safe is a priority for the whole industry. The risk of serious or even fatal injuries is very high for anyone trespassing onto the railway, with trains running at high speed, and both tracks and overhead wires carrying very high voltages. Likewise, the knock‐on impact of even a minor trespassing event can cause delays and cancellations of services affecting many thousands of passengers.

British Transport Police report that trespass incidents increase particularly during school holidays, so it’s vital that young people learn about the real risk of playing near tracks, bridges and tunnels. That’s why CrossCountry teamed up with the Scouts Association to launch the Cub Scout Personal Safety Badge. Aimed at Cubs and Scouts from 7‐10 years old, this partnership is dedicated to educating younger people on the importance of safe and responsible behaviour on or near the railway.

Launched in 2017 in response to a ten‐year high level of trespassing incidents on the railways the previous year, the programme was intended to reduce levels of youth crime and safety incidents and increase wider awareness of the consequences of trespassing. As the UK Scouts Association is the largest inclusive youth movement in the country, with a membership of over 450,000 young boys and girls, it puts this vital issue before a wider audience.

To obtain their Personal Safety Badge, Scouts must complete an activity pack that aims to educate young people on how to behave responsibly and safely near the railway. This is teamed with a further activity pack that covers safety in other areas such as highways and waterways. If all this is completed correctly, the Personal Safety Badge is awarded. Groups are encouraged to visit their local station as part of the badge, by either contacting the local train operator or their local Community Rail Partnership.

This award‐winning partnership is just one way in which train operators are working with communities to promote safety. Working together, rail companies are absolutely committed to tackling crime and antisocial behaviour on our trains and at stations. Changing the way we work will help to improve safety, ensuring our staff can focus on customers, helping with journey planning, assisting people on and off trains and preventing anti‐social behaviour.

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