Children risking their lives for a bite to eat at Carmarthen's KFC
SCHOOLCHILDREN are risking their lives by dodging trains to get to Carmarthen's KFC, police are warning.
Since the fast food outlet opened in Pensarn, British Transport Police (BTP) says it has received half a dozen separate reports from train drivers of children in school uniforms walking on railway tracks by the restaurant.
Officers say the trend must stop before someone is killed.
It is unclear which school the youngsters are coming from, but there are fears they could be walking on tracks from as far away as the Llansteffan Road crossing in Johnstown.
Such a journey would mean a perilous walk of more than half a mile over the Bascule Bridge, known locally as the White Bridge, to Pensarn.
PC Dai Maynard, from BTP Carmarthen, said: "Since the opening of the new KFC in Carmarthen there have been reports of people using the railway line to gain access to the rear of the new retail complex.
"My concern is that these people may not be fully aware of the danger they are putting themselves in.
"These are extremely worrying incidents which could have had dire consequences, and I am concerned that unless this behaviour is nipped in the bud it may be only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or even killed."
BTP says anyone caught trespassing can be handed a penalty notice for disorder of £50.
Any further offence may be dealt with by the courts, where they could be fined up to £1,000.
PC Maynard said: "Our main concern is keeping people safe.
"We are more interested in preventing instances of trespass and saving lives than enforcement, and I sincerely hope people heed the warning.
"However, we will not hesitate to take action against anyone caught trespassing on the tracks and endangering people's safety — this includes anything from an on-the-spot fine to pursuing persistent offenders through the courts.
"We do not want to tell any husband or wife, mother or father, that their loved one will not be coming home."
You can report trespass and anti-social behaviour by contacting British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.