A senior police officer has warned of the “potentially fatal” risks of stone throwing at trains.

After reports surfaced of trespassing on the line and items being thrown at passing trains at Shotton earlier this week, chief inspector Mark Cleland from British Transport Police urged those responsible to think again.

British Transport Police officers took to Twitter on Monday to warn of the dangers, a sentiment shared by Chf Insp Cleland.

He said: “Incidents such as this are a huge concern to us.

”Stone throwing is potentially fatal. Even a small stone thrown at a train travelling at high speed can endanger the life of the driver and passengers on board the service.

“Every day we are called to the tracks because a train driver has had to sound their horn or apply their emergency brake in a desperate bid to avoid youths on the line, who then run off, seemingly unaware of the danger they have put themselves in.”

When youths got onto the line at Shotton on Monday, a train passed just five minutes later and Chf Insp Cleland was keen to stress how dangerous trespassing can be.

He said: “The potential for serious harm is abundantly clear and, unfortunately, we have seen the tragic consequences with a number of incidents in which young people have lost their lives.

“The last thing our officers want to do is knock on someone’s door to tell a parent their child has been killed or seriously injured as a result of trespassing.

“We continue to do all we can to keep youngsters safe by patrolling areas where we know they’re likely to trespass and prevent them from doing so.

“However, we cover thousands of miles of track and we cannot tackle this issue alone.

“That is why I would urge parents and young people to heed this warning and take a reality check when it comes to trespass.

“It’s not a game: they are real tracks, with real trains and
real-life consequences.”