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Chirpy says: It's free, confidential and can save lives

Posted on 31 October 2003  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Chirpy made a special visit to Liverpool Street Station on behalf of Football in the Community last week to unveil a specially painted train aimed at reducing railway crime.

The launch is a further step in the relationship we have developed with Network Rail, aimed at getting the railway safety message to local children.

Mark Phillips, Network Rail, Regional Director said: "Each year children are seriously injured and can be killed by playing on the railway. The railway is dangerous, it is not a playground and children should stay away. This crime prevention train and our Spurs' competition will help to raise the profile of railway crime. "

The WAGN train, which will run from Liverpool Street Station to Chingford, Enfield Town and Hertford East is emblazoned with our logo and the British Transport Police's free and confidential railway crime telephone number. The train will run until this time next year.

A recent study showed that 90% of railway crime is carried out by young people - a startling statistic. This is particularly true on the West Anglia route. Every day train drivers and railway staff report children throwing stones at trains, taking short cuts across the railway, playing on embankments, playing chicken in front of trains and vandalising railway property. In total, 95 incidents of trespass and vandalism have been recorded on this route during the last six months. The location with the highest number of incidents is Higham's Park, followed by Seven Sisters and Broxbourne.

Our school and holiday clubs, divert children away from the boredom of holidays and after school and towards, fun, educational activities.

Our Community Officer, Steve Grenfell, said: "It is vital that children understand the danger of the railway. We have worked with Network Rail for three years to raise awareness, and reduce trespass and vandalism on our railways. Our coaches are role models to the thousands of children they see each year. The children really respond to their heroes delivering the rail safety message."

Our Football in the Community Scheme reaches over 150,000 children per year and the figure is rising, this makes it the ideal vehicle to communicate these messages to children.