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Youths risk lives in dangerous 'chicken' game with fast-moving trains through Stansted railway station

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Youths are playing 'chicken' with fast-moving trains travelling through Stansted's railway station in a daredevil activity that authorities have warned could end in a fatality.

Commuters and residents also report being confronted on a daily basis with disruptive behaviour on the platforms, which spills out onto Station Road.

And this week Greater Anglia station staff were issued with body cams in response to the growing concerns.

The platform at Stansted train station
The platform at Stansted train station

According to staff, groups of youngsters regularly gather to 'play' on the platforms, goading each other to retrieve items, such as pens, that they have thrown onto the track or daring to get as close as they can to trains racing through.

Villager Ray Woodcock called on parents to check up on their children's whereabouts.

"The station staff told me of a regular happening which is of great concern to them. A group of 13 to 15-year-olds, three boys and six girls, 'played' on the platform and bridge crossing the tracks, but this was no ordinary game.

"It seems the girls would goad the boys to jump onto the rail track. Another one of their 'games' is to stand very close to fast-moving trains as they passed, non-stop, through the station and touch the train as it passed to see who would 'chicken' first.

"To the parents of these foolish children, are your children involved in this life threatening 'game'? You need to take action before a child is seriously injured or killed."

One commuter who did not wish to be named, said groups gathered most evenings on the platform near the entrance, 'smoking, spitting and stinking of weed'.

A Greater Anglia spokesperson said: “We are working with British Transport Police to tackle anti-social behaviour on the railway. We have held a meeting with staff, we’ve issued them with body cams and will continue to support them.

"Members of the public who step onto tracks risk their own life and the lives of others. Anyone who witnesses any anti-social behaviour on the railway should get in touch with British Transport Police on 61016.”

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