DRONES and plain-clothes police officers will be doing the rounds at a local railway station following a spike in antisocial behaviour.
The rise in incidents at Elsecar has prompted the British Transport Police to urge those responsible to ‘stop and think’ before they cause serious harm and risk prosecution.
In recent weeks there has been an increase in incidents involving stones being thrown at trains and items thrown from bridges as well as trespass and criminal damage in the Elsecar area.
Now police, who are targeting the area with frequent patrols, some of which are carried out by plain clothes officers, are intent on stamping out the dangerous behaviour before someone is hurt.
New technology including drones, funded by Network Rail, are also being used in a bid to identify those responsible.
Sgt Darren Martin said: “Once again this issue is rearing its ugly head and with it comes the inevitable dangers of trespassing on the railway and targeting trains to deliberately cause damage.
“It is only a matter of time before someone is hurt by this reckless and quite frankly, stupid behaviour.
“Passengers and drivers are innocent people who are simply doing their job or trying to get from A to B.
“I urge those responsible to consider how they’d feel if someone was injured or worse because of their actions.”
Sgt Martin also urged parents and guardians of the youngsters need to ensure they are aware of what they’re doing - and warned them of the consequences.
“And if the thought of harming others isn’t enough, then they should think about the danger they risk to themselves by trespassing on the railway,” he added.
“If they are lucky enough to escape injury they could face prosecution or a criminal record - all for a moment of stupidity.
“Parents and guardians - we need you to make sure our message gets through - please educate your young people about the dangers and the risks of behaviour like this.
“Lives could depend on it.”
Anyone who spots someone trespassing is asked to get in touch by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40.
Coun Tim Shepherd, who represents the ward, told the Chronicle he was upset with the behaviour.
“It saddens me to see antisocial behaviour again increasing at Elsecar railway station and its surrounding track,” he added.
“We have only recently had the ticket machines replaced after they were vandalised.
“Now stones are being thrown from the bridge at passing trains, adding to the vandalism at the station.
“As well as inconveniencing the travelling public, someone could get seriously injured.
“I am pleased to see that the new technology including drones, funded by Network Rail, are going to be used in a bid to identify those responsible.
“We have worked hard over the last few years to establish the park and ride car park and have had a successful bid accepted by South Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Active Travel Scheme to upgrade the route from Elsecar station to the new heritage centre.”