Joining forces to keep children safe across the UK

  • Date: 20/02/2020
  • In: UK

We're determined to reach as many vulnerable young people as possible who are using the transport system to get away from or get themselves into dangerous situations. But there are thousands of them passing through our stations every day and we can't always be there when they need us. So we work extensively to make sure more people can be our eyes and ears on the network.

Last year we briefed 100 new British Transport Police officers on how to look out for children at risk.

BTP predict that this year they will file 8,600 reports of children at risk on the railways. Many will be running away from care or home and often they are trying to meet someone who has been grooming them online. But one area of concern that is growing rapidly is children being exploited by criminals, forced to transport drugs or money around the country for ‘county lines’ gangs.

In response to this increasing concern we have worked with BTP to develop a specific face-to-face training programme that we will deliver to those working in and around the railways.

In 2019 we trained 320 members of the rail community and station staff to increase their awareness of vulnerable children.

 

Now, thanks to funding from BTP, we will also be able to provide these new training sessions focussing on county lines problems.

Each will run for 11/2 hours and staff members from numerous train companies have signed up to take part and learn more about how to spot the signs of county lines exploitation. 

DS Gareth Williams from British Transport Police said: “Making safeguarding interventions with young people who are being exploited and coerced into this type of criminality is the best way to protect the vulnerable and tackle county lines offending.”

The more people who are more aware of young people at risk, the more children we can keep safe together.