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BBC News Online
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.
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.
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 email@example.com or West Anglia Great Northern at WAGN@brookmans.com 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
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shelter vandalised - Dec 1, 1999
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