British Transport Police have revealed groups of children have been travelling unaccompanied on trains despite the country being in lockdown.
Parents and carers are being urged to check in on their children as BTP said it was concerned about the safety and wellbeing of youngsters travelling on the network while Covid restrictions are in place.
Weekly operations have been running since January in a bid to identify and protect these children, BTP said.
During this period, 24 targeted operations have identified more than 40 young people who were then either collected or returned home to their parents and carers.
In some cases, children as young as 12 travelled from Helensburgh to Partick and others were identified as travelling from Dalmuir to Airdrie.
BTP inspector Chris Shields said: “We urge parents and carers to ensure they know where their children are and have conversations with them to remind them of the Covid guidelines that are currently in place.
“One of the most concerning aspects from our operations has been the number of young people we spoke to that were the opposite side of the city from where they live without parental consent or knowledge.
“The railway is not a playground and large groups of youths as young as 12 years-old have resulted in increased patrols to ensure there is safeguarding in place for children and young people who are traveling on the network.
“We all have a responsibility to protect vulnerable children in our community and I would encourage people to be on the lookout for young people who might need help and report any concerns they may have so we can make sure they don’t come to any harm.
“Passengers continue to be our eyes and ears and they can help us by reporting crimes and concerns by texting 61016.”
Earlier this year BTP partnered with Barnardo’s ‘See, Hear and Respond’ campaign, which aims to provide access to immediate support for children and their families who may be struggling with the consequences of Covid-19 and wider problems.
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