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
    • Cognitive impairment
    • Drug use
    • 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.

    • Hospitals
    • Densely populated areas
    • Disused rail buildings
    • Sports clubs
    • Youth clubs
    • Schools
    • Stadiums
    • Shopping centres
    • Urban environment
    • Rural environment.
  • 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
    • Lost
    • 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)
    • Anti-societal feelings
    • Lack of self-control
    • Artistic expression
    • Peer pressure
    • Recognition
    • Out of sight – seeking a place of seclusion
    • A place to take or deal drugs
    • Happen/chance
    • Risk/thrill seeking
    • Engaging in leisure pursuits near track
    • Exploration
    • Rebellion
    • Seeking refuge
    • Territorially
    • Low self esteem
    • Poor mental health
    • Accidental
    • 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
    • Tools/equipment stolen
    • 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
    • Depots/sidings
    • Close to rail equipment (eg. signals/facilities)
    • At a station (crossing the track, exiting end of platform)
    • Bridges/tunnels
    • On or adjacent to track (not near a station, facility or equipment)
    • Disused facilities (stations).
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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