Outreach programmes and targeting of at-risk groups
A measure that can influence attitude / activity leading to trespass, by engaging with people who have been involved in trespass or who are in target groups with higher risk of trespass.
In the community, likely to be near to specific locations trespass occurs or where graffiti or damage has resulted on railway property.
By whom? - People from local community or local businesses, working in conjunction with industry staff involved in trespass prevention. Trespassers / potential trespassers may be referred by a social worker or the police.
Applicability / suitability for trespass types
Where a problem has been established at a location and individuals or groups in the community can be identified for support. Needs engagement and support of the local community and organisations.
Trespasser type = Children and young persons, adults, drug users.
Trespass events = Anti-social behaviour, graffiti, hangout, recreation.
Observed behaviours = Damage to facilities/ equipment, items laid on track, evidence of graffiti, signs of drug use, train surfing, climbing on equipment.
Potential Motivations = Self-expression and boredom, Low or immature moral judgement and reasoning, Lack of self-control, Low self-esteem, Peer pressure, Anti-societal feelings, Artistic expression, Recognition, Rebellion, Territorially, seeking seclusion or a place to deal drugs, Risk/thrill seeking, Exploration, Happenchance, Engaging in leisure pursuits near track, Poor mental health.
There is limited evidence for this intervention.
Outreach and counselling has been offered to the most problematic taggers, when trying to reduce graffiti. Re-offending was reduced with this was offered in combination with other interventions.
There is limited evidence of the effectiveness of targeting at risk groups with only one study indicating an association with a reduction in injury and death.
Generally applied with small numbers of people so may take some time to develop the required connections and engagement with the people and groups involved. Any improvement in trespass may be delayed.
Any effect might be sustained over time but may require on-going support and engagement. There might be some transfer of the effect to others connected with the people involved in the programme. It is likely that there would be an on-going need to engage with new people who may be trespassing over time.
Factors influencing effectiveness
Where barriers are broken down between individuals / groups in the local community and railway organisations (i.e. most effective when reaching out to young people to reduce the “them and us” culture).
People need to be willing to engage in the programme and this relies on building effective relationships with the disadvantaged groups in the community.
How to apply or implement, including dependencies
Effective relationships need to be built with individuals or groups involved in the trespass.
Dependent on young people or young offenders wanting to take part or court systems recommending it.
Bringing trauma patients and young offenders together can be a way of bringing real life stories to the young offenders.
May need to create alternative safer community spaces for young people to hang out and legal safer areas for graffitists.
Can work well with counselling / support programmes and combined with education, deterrence, sanctions and adopting a station.
Can be costly for targeting at risk groups. Some outreach activities could be lower cost.