5 Sep 2014

Responding to the Transport Select Committee’s report, Security on the Railway, which calls for more action to safeguard young people at major railway stations, Sam Royston, Head of Policy, said:

'Keeping children safe is everyone’s business. Anyone who comes into contact with children during their work needs to take responsibility for this.

'All police forces have a responsibility towards children who they come across as part of their work. Just like other forces, transport police need to be able to identify children who are at risk and work with other professionals who have responsibility for safeguarding, like social services and local police, to keep them safe. And to do this properly, every officer should have safeguarding training.

'It is clear from this report that the British Transport Police needs to be more alert to the possibility that children travelling alone on trains or spending time in stations may be missing from home. At the moment, they are not even able to say across the country how many missing children they come into contact with.

'The majority of children who run away aren’t reported as missing to the police, so it is important that officers know how to identify these young people and get them the help they need.

'And given the dangers that young runaways face, they also need to be aware of the links between going missing and crimes like trafficking and sexual exploitation.'

Media enquiries

For more information, call 020 7841 4423 or email media@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

  • The Transport Committee’s report is published tomorrow.
  • Findings from our third national survey of young runaways, Still Running 3, can be viewed here.
  • The Children’s Society has helped change children’s stories for over a century. We expose injustice and address hard truths, tackling child poverty and neglect head-on. We fight for change based on the experiences of every child we work with and the solid evidence we gather. Through our campaigning, commitment and care, we are determined to give every child in this country the greatest possible chance in life.

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