In the UK, 100,000 children under 16 run away from home every year. 70% of young people who run away are not reported missing. We know that many of these vulnerable children will use the transport network as a place of shelter or for onward travel to escape a range of issues.

Railway Children works with transport staff to help them identify vulnerable people and alert British Transport Police (BTP) when children or adults seem at risk.

We can all play a part in keeping these children and young people safe.

How you can help

Be aware of vulnerable people on transport

Be concerned about their welfare

Report any concerns to BTP by calling 0800 40 50 60, texting 61016 or speaking to an officer

In an emergency always call 999

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What to look out for:

• Behaviour that seems out of place, furtive, scared or emotional, even suicidal

• Appearance that looks unkempt or shows injuries and signs of self-harm

• Relationships between adults and children that just don’t seem right

• Exchanges that are aggressive or violent

• Signs of alcohol or drug misuse

• Children alone during the school day or late at night

If you see something that makes you question what is happening, report it.

Take action to protect vulnerable children

“I was travelling on a train in to the city one evening and could hear these two girls talking. They were on their way to meet up with an older man who had contacted them through Facebook. So I called BTP and described them and what they’d been saying. Their officers met the girls on the platform and had a chat with them – it turns out the man they were meeting up with was in his 40s and had promised to give them some money. Neither of their families knew anything about it and I’m so glad I had decided to do something because who knows what might have happened to those girls.”

 

Creating a National Safety Network

If you work in the rail industry, you can also get involved in our Safeguarding on Transport programme.