Can influence behaviour when people are in a place of risk on the railway.  Potential to influence attitudes of people if they perceive this as having a deterrent effect.  Also potential for early warning of risk, enabling the railway system and police to react.

Used in locations where there are current reports of trespass.  Dynamic systems may be used especially where these locations may be a moderate distance from an existing access point, or where safe access for responders is more difficult.

By whom? - Rail operational staff (NR / TOC / FOC) and BTP and other specialist staff.  For dynamic systems, likely to need appropriate training and support for vehicle / camera operation.

Applicability / suitability for trespass types

Where there is a need for fast response to reduce risk to people and damage to infrastructure and attempt to identify people and intervene. It will be necessary to consider the suitable fixing points with views of the target area,  of power sources and means of data storage and recovery for statics systems and timely access arrangements for vehicles / technology,  liaison with other organisations (e.g. TOC, BTP) and real time access and response to data feeds for dynamic systems.

Trespasser type = Young people, adults.

Trespass events = Theft, Graffiti, Antisocial behaviour, Convenience, Fare evasion.

Observed behaviours = Damage to facilities / equipment, trespass near equipment, evidence of graffiti, crossing track, exit platform end, access crossing, access at access point.

Potential Motivations = Personal financial gain, artistic expression, recognition, rebellion, territorial, self-expression, shorten distance, reduce time, personal financial gain.


Medium effectiveness

Potential to include widescale coverage of a location (e.g. a station) or cover large areas quickly with a dynamic system.  May be effective alone, especially if images are monitored and followed up with appropriate response. Likely to be used in combination with sanctions.

CCTV accompanied by motion detectors and a speaker showed a 10-30% drop in trespass rates in a previous study.

Combining CCTV with anti-trespass grids and fencing reduced trespass by 95% in Turkey and by 78% in Belgium.

Might mitigate or stop an event in progress.

Likely to need repeated responses such that people expect that they will always be interrupted, if any effect is to be maintained.  A 3-year study of CCTV with motion sensors found that trespass did drop in the second year, before rising in the third year.

Factors influencing effectiveness

Where there is a deterrent effect, people may fear identification and formal interventions.  This may require educating people that they may be caught trespassing.

Where a deterrent effect is less likely, images are needed in real time, giving opportunities to respond appropriately.  Timely access is needed to the area where trespass is occurring.  CCTV can be more likely to be effective for trespass events with longer periods of occupation of rail locations.

How to apply or implement, including dependencies

Knowledge of the type of trespass and circumstances in which trespass occurs can help in decisions about choice of systems.  For example:

  • Regular trespass at a particular location could be tackled with a static system, possibly combined with motion detectors and speakers to persuade people to leave higher risk areas; 
  • Where there are many and varied trespass locations along a route a dynamic system might be considered;  
  • Where trespass is common at night, thermal imaging cameras can mean that trespassers can be seen in low light conditions.  

It can be necessary to consider processes around monitoring the CCTV images and providing a suitable, timely response to issues identified.

For dynamic systems, need to consider transport to the access location, or safe storage of vehicle / drone in a nearby location. Alternatively, cameras may be fitted to parts of the rail fleet.

UAVs can cover reasonable distances (around 500m away from the pilot at heights of 120 metres) 

Vehicles / Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) need to be operated by fully licensed pilots / operators, accompanied by a camera operator. 

It’s unclear how drones would fly in an area with overhead power lines.

Static and dynamic systems can also be combined with other interventions like physical barriers, sanctions and deterrence.

Using Education to warn people that CCTV (static or dynamic) is in use in their area may be an additional deterrent.



High for use of some vehicle types, though can be lower for static systems and also dynamic systems as UAV technology develops.  Multiple staff may be involved in identification and response.  Resources will be required for video processing / analysis.