This section provides a series of questions with prompts to help profile and describe a trespass event. Answering the questions and using the prompts will help provide a fuller description of what might be leading to trespass. For example, whether there are motivations or physical features that might be influencing trespass.
Information to answer these questions can be obtained from staff with frontline experience of these locations, site visits, and information from relevant data sources. Find out more.
It is advised that the results of the profiling are written up a short report or excel spreadsheet.
What are other influencing factors (psycho-social, socio demographic aspects) might influencing trespass?
Consider the other psycho-social, socio demographic aspects that might be influencing trespass.
Intoxicants like drugs and alcohol
Physical or other form of impairment
Exclusion from normal social groups
History of criminal behaviour
Poor social cohesion
Urban decay and deprivation
Witnessing others engaged in activity.
What are the aspects of the surrounding area that might influence trespass?
Consider whether there are any aspects of the surrounding area that might influence trespass.
Densely populated areas
Disused rail buildings
What are the likely motivations for trespass?
Motivations are not directly observable but can be inferred through observations of behaviour and through interviews that seek to ask people why they behaved or acted in the way they did.
The following provides a list of possible motivations for trespass. This list is unlikely to be wholly comprehensive and other motivations and variations of the ones provided are likely to be identified.
Please note there may be more than one motivation for an observed behaviour.
Not understanding rules
Unaware of rules
Seeking to reach destination in less time (time saving)
Retrieving dropped item
Perceiving risk of injury to be low
To shorten distance
Self-expression and boredom
To catch a train
Low or immature moral judgement and reasoning
Personal financial gain (calculated/habitual)
Lack of self-control
Out of sight – seeking a place of seclusion
A place to take or deal drugs
Engaging in leisure pursuits near track
Low self esteem
Poor mental health
Don’t feel safe (so use alternative route)
False perception of risk/danger to self/others.
What are the observed behaviours?
There are a range of behaviours linked to trespass, these are encompassed by the broader trespass events outlined previously. The observed events presented below are quite comprehensive. However, they are unlikely to cover all the possible types and variations of trespass behaviour.
Person/s observed waking up in a rail depot/siding
Person/s observed retrieving dropped personal item (shoe/phone/ball/bag) from track
Person/s observed entering prohibited area whilst lost
Person/s observed crossing track when obstacle between two points (eg. to and from a residential area and town centre
Person/s observed exiting and entering the platform end via a LC
Person/s observed exiting/entering platform via a gap in the boundary fence (jumping over the boundary fence) or other prohibited entrance point
Person/s observed crossing track at station rather than use station footbridge/tunnel
Evidence of damage to facilities/equipment
Person/s observed near line side equipment (signal box)
Evidence of cable theft
Evidence of large items being laid on track (sleeper, shopping trolley)
Person/s observed placing small items on to rails (coins/ballast)
Person/s observed throwing items (stones etc) at train, track, shelter or other rail facilities
Evidence of damage to fencing
Evidence of tagging
Evidence of graffiti or street art
Person/s observed on the track with graffiti related paraphernalia (spray cans)
Evidence of drug use (drug paraphernalia in area)
Person/s observed on disused station platform
Evidence of rough sleeping
Person/s observed dangling legs over the platform edge
Person/s observed playing chicken (running in front of a train, jumping down to the track and back)
Person/s observed at station jumping down to the track and back up (dare)
Person/s observed train surfing
Person/s observed using/playing with equipment/tools (SPT)
Person/s observed loitering (e.g. on bridge above track
Person observed on track at station – no inferred benefit/reason
Person observed on track away from station – no inferred benefit/reason
Person observed exiting/entering end of platform – no inferred benefit/reason.
What are the physical and other features of the trespass location that might influence trespass?
Consider whether there are any physical features or circumstances related to the trespass location that might influence the occurrence of trespass.
Layout and design of the station
Lack of convenient official crossing points
Rail assets left on display (cabling, batteries etc)
Hole in fencing
Run down or vandalised station areas
Easy access to track (from platform ends or low fencing)
Station furniture used to climb over walls or fencing
Run down or vandalised station areas
Rail assets left on display (cabling, batteries etc).
What are the trespasser characteristics (age / gender / group activity)?
Consider the characteristic of the trespasser.
Gender: (Male / Female)
Age: children (under 11); Pre-adolescent Children (11-15); Adolescent (16-20); Young adults (21-25); Adult (over 25)
Group size: Solo; Small group (1-4); Larger group (5+)
Other characteristics: Drug users; Homeless people looking for shelter; Tourists; Intoxicated Drunk people; Commuters.
What is the broad type of trespass event occurring?
Trespass events can be classified into one of nine broad categories. For the purposes of this guidance, Pre-suicidal and suicidal behaviour and misuse of a level crossing, other than to shortcut on to a platform, are not considered trespass events.
Unintentional (lost, retrieving a dropped item such as a phone)
Anti-social behaviour (e.g. vandalism – damage to property)
Convenience / short cutting (i.e. not using a designated crossing point)
Graffiti (e.g. paint graffiti or ‘tag their name’ onto fences, trains and property)
Fare evasion (e.g. walking off a platform end to avoid fare payment)
Hangout (e.g. people congregating and socialising or to use and deal drugs)
Theft (stealing items from the rail track or other locations e.g. depots)
Recreation (e.g. acts for entertainment such as dangling legs over the platform edge).
Where are the trespass events occurring?
Consider where the trespass event occurs.
On or close to a level crossing
Within 250m of a station
Between 250m and 1km of a station
Over 1km from a station
Close to rail equipment (eg. signals/facilities)
At a station (crossing the track, exiting end of platform)
On or adjacent to track (not near a station, facility or equipment)
Disused facilities (stations).
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