SURREY, 23-7-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — Suicides on the railways have risen by from 278 to 293 in the 12 months to March 31, 2015, a change of 5.3 per cent.
A rise of 5.3 per cent is in line with changes shown by the ONS suicide statistics released in February this year, which showed a comparable upward trend.
Railway suicides continue to account for approximately five percent of all suicides, and considered over time, this proportion has remained relatively stable since 2003.
Fiona Malcolm, Samaritans deputy CEO, says: “Any suicide is a tragedy and Samaritans is there round the clock, every day of the year, to help people who are struggling to cope to find a way through their problems. We have been working with Network Rail, the Train Operating Companies, British Transport Police and the wider rail industry to reduce suicides on the railways since 2010.
“We have trained nearly 10,000 rail industry staff to spot vulnerable people and intervene if they think they are at risk of taking their own life. Over 175 staff interventions have been reported to Samaritans since 2010, and in the last 12 months, interventions by rail staff have risen by 60 per cent.
“More than 4.5m people travel by rail every day. In addition to the support they provide which includes answering more than 5 million calls for help a year, Samaritans volunteers regularly hold events and outreach activities at stations to connect with commuters and railway passengers. Samaritans is also there to help the local community when a railway suicide has taken place.
“Samaritans welcomes additional safety measures introduced by Network Rail at stations such as mid-platform fencing, platform hatching, trespass guards, platform end barriers and smart cameras. These changes help to make travelling on the railways safer for everyone.”
Notes to Editors
*An intervention involves a trained rail staff member approaching a person who appears to be exhibiting suicidal behaviour at a railway station or other rail property. The staff member will then try to engage the person in conversation and endeavour to move them to a place of safety. If necessary, Samaritans can be summoned along with the British Transport Police.
- Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them. Please call 08457 90 90 90 (UK – calls will cost 2p per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge) 116 123 (ROI), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of the nearest branch.