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Patrols to target rail vandals 

A co-ordinated security operation has been set up to try to tackle the problem of railway vandalism in Hertfordshire. Operation Scarecrow will involve joint patrols of security staff from Railtrack, British Transport Police, WAGN and the Health and Safety Executive.

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They will operate from WAGN train services and in mobile patrols using four-wheel drive off-road vehicles. A helicopter will support the operation from the air guiding security officers to areas of trespass and vandalism.

There will also be foot patrols, which will assess fencing and access points to the railway and recommend action. In the past year alone 250k has been spent on fencing in the area with a large amount of work taking place around Hatfield.

Operation Scarecrow

* 20 officers
* Helicopter support
* Rail patrols
* Trespass checks
* 4WD backup

The main objective of Operation Scarecrow is prevention although Railtrack says a similar operation in the Peterborough area this summer caught 60 vandals. The patrols, which will involve at least 20 officers a day, can be stepped up if a particular problem area is identified.

Although Operation Scarecrow doesn't officially begin until the school Christmas holidays, nine people have already been caught in the New Barnet and Southgate areas as the security patrols gear up for the campaign.

Contact Railtrack and WAGN

You can e-mail Railtrack directly at or West Anglia Great Northern at or you can raise any concerns in the 'Have Your Say' section of this site and what you write will be published immediately for all to read.

December 2, 1999

Related news items

New station shelter vandalised - Dec 1, 1999
New shelter for station - Nov 29, 1999
Station shelter - work underway - Nov 11, 1999
New waiting room to be built next week - Nov 11, 1999
Station facelift brought forward - Nov 4, 1999
Vandals target station waiting room - Nov 2, 1999
Local residents to meet Railtrack - Oct 15, 1999
Vandalism to track damages train - Sept 9
Railtrack invite feedback on station  -  Sept 5
Railtrack to tackle vandalism  -  August 23, 1999
New plans to beat vandals -  July 13, 1999
Crackdown on station vandalism -  July 9, 1999
Station face-lift hits buffers -  March 19, 1999
WAGN failures -  August 20, 1998
WAGN anger - July 12, 1998

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