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.

A community-based measure influencing knowledge and attitudes to trespass and supporting correct and appropriate behaviour near railways.

This is carried out at locations where there are opportunities to communicate with hard to reach groups and can include locations, such as youth clubs, sports clubs, shopping centres, fun parks, caravan parks and museums.

By whom? - May be delivered by specialists or community / youth workers or members of clubs or organisations.  This could include work with specialists in developing campaigns and behavioural change, working in conjunction with industry staff in trespass prevention roles.

Applicability / suitability for trespass types

At community locations near to where children / young people are a significant or over-represented trespassing group and targeting of a location or holding an event enables communication of relevant messages. Can give access to wider section of the community at risk if the right locations, activities and people with the ability communicate with the group can be identified.

Trespasser type = Children and young persons.

Trespass events = Unintentional, convenience, fare evasion, antisocial behaviour, graffiti, hangout, recreation.

Observed behaviours = Dropping items on the track, crossing the track, exiting via the platform end, damage to fencing or equipment, items laid on the track, children observed on the track or other railway locations, evidence of graffiti, seen on disused platforms, playing with equipment.

Potential Motivations = Retrieving items, shorten distance, save time; self-expression, moral judgement and reasoning, low self-esteem, peer pressure; recognition, rebellion, territorial; seeking place of seclusion.


Medium effectiveness

Currently, there are few studies that examine the impact of this method, but there is anecdotal evidence that suggests it is effective. 

Network Rail found that engaging with local football clubs was an effective way to share their rail safety message.

Can have early impact on changing attitudes, but behavioural change may take years to show any effect.

To be effective the education needs to be sustained (i.e. repeated at least yearly and refreshing the delivery of the message after a period of time).

Factors influencing effectiveness

Ability to reach and engage with the target groups.

Needs to engage with the community and local clubs and businesses.

Needs sufficient numbers at events and appropriate engagement (e.g. fun events).

How to apply or implement, including dependencies

Define the purpose of the education and the target audience.

Identify and engage with local community groups and businesses, and local events and initiatives.  This type of engagement may be linked to an on-going national initiative e.g. EFL (football clubs). 
Consider the type of message, or the way it is portrayed.  Consult with specialists where appropriate. Convey clear facts to get the message to young people.  Engagement through activities and fun events (e.g. quizzes, magic show).

Consider the method of delivery of the message (e.g. involvement of local people).  

Combine with other measures, including media campaigns, posters, signs, physical barriers and sanctions.

Collect feedback to ensure the right educational approach has been adopted.

Tends to be specific/localised to an area but can cover the topic of trespass more generally.


Will depend on factors such as scale of the educational initiative, but costs could be reduced with appropriate support from the local community and organisations.

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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