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Select and Design

Provides guidance to indicate how findings from the RA coupled with enhanced understanding aids the selection and design of appropriate interventions.

The guidance provided here gives information to help select and design suitable interventions to help tackle trespass. In total 24 interventions are described, grouped under 7 categories:

  • 1. Education and awareness

    Making people aware of the dangers of trespassing on the railway through:

    • Education in schools - provides targeted communication to schools, to educate school children to raise awareness of the dangers and illegality of trespass
    • Media campaigns - a planned series of messages delivered through a range of media (e.g. newspapers, television, social media) to raise awareness of the dangers and illegality of trespass
    • Education through community - educating and raising awareness about trespass in conjunction with existing community organisations and initiatives, to engage with more difficult to reach groups
    • Edutainment - social media videos and online games that both educate and entertain. In this way, they’re often able to reach and engage large numbers of people
    • Posters - written or graphic information on rail safety for temporary display at a variety of locations close to trespass problem locations
    • Information and warning signs - providing information on a fixed sign about a risk, danger or prohibited activity.
  • 2 - Community engagement

    Working with local communities to discuss ways to work together to reduce instances of trespass, through:

  • 3 - Environmental design

    The design of the railway area, including landscaping, paths through stations and general station layout, along with cleanliness and planting of bushes and trees, through:

  • 4 - Physical

    Fencing, anti-trespass panels or locked gates that make access to the tracks, stations, sidings, depots, bridges etc more difficult, through:

  • 5 - Monitor / surveillance

    Focusing on the technical aspect of monitoring and surveillance, to identify and warn people that they should not be on the tracks, through:

  • 6 - Staffing and Patrols

    Overt as an immediate observable deterrent or covert making people less likely to trespass for fear of being caught, through:

  • 7 - Sanctions and rewards

    A range of punishments and rewards for people that are caught in the act of trespass or vandalism, through:

For each intervention, a range of information is provided covering:

  • Description of the intervention;
  • Applicability / suitability for trespass types;
  • Effectiveness / potential effectiveness;
  • Factors influencing effectiveness; 
  • How to apply or implement, including dependencies;
  • Cost; 
  • Further information.

The selection of interventions should be informed by risk assessment (if conducted) and/or an enhanced understanding of the types and forms of trespass by considering the guidance on trespass classification and profiling trespass events.

Only with an enhanced understanding of why trespass occurs (e.g. who is involved in trespass and their motivations and the wider factors that influences behaviour) will the selection and design of interventions be truly effective.

For example, if a person or persons is observed near line side equipment, then this could be for reasons of ‘theft’, ‘anti-social behaviour’ – to vandalise or damage property or for the purposes of ‘recreation’ – playing with equipment for entertainment. The type of intervention applied will depend on the trespass type and who is involved. If it is for ‘recreation’ or ‘anti-social behaviour’ then in addition to physical barriers, outreach programmes might be effective in helping to dissuade younger people (typically involved in this form of trespass) by changing attitudes (i.e. making them aware of the dangers to self and others). If it is for purposes of ‘theft’ then outreach programmes will have limited or no impact. 

Understanding will also help in the design of an intervention. If the reasons for trespass is ‘theft’, then a physical barrier or fence will need to be designed not just to deter but prevent access - such a high palisade fence topped with barbs.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?
Get in touch with our Senior Safety Intelligence Analyst for further information.
Siona Vass
Tel: 020 3142 5485
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