As the school holidays get underway, children have been warned not to risk their lives by trespassing.
Police in Preston issued a warning to youngsters not to enter derelict buildings after reports of teens climbing into St Joseph’s Orphanage in Mount Street, and British Transport Police revealed youngsters are twice as likely to trespass on railway tracks over summer.
In Mount Street, people have been seen dangling their legs from a window at the top of the orphanage building.
PCSO Stephen Connolly said: “I’m well aware of the ‘urban myths’ which are attached to this building however I cannot reiterate how dangerous being inside this building is.
“The interior is in that dangerous condition that Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service occasionally use it as a training exercise.
“Anyone entering this building is putting themselves in considerable risk of serious harm or worse.”
A study by BTP showed 270 reports of trespass across the region’s railway lines last summer, resulting in 12,399 minutes of delays to passengers. Over the past decade, 170 youngsters have been killed after trespassing in the UK.
In response to the seasonal surge, officers from British Transport Police are stepping up patrols across the region.
Chief Inspector Sue Peters said: “We’re doing all we can to keep children 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 we are urging 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.”