Fall in number of railway suicides

Suicides on the railways dropped by 12% last year, a report has found.

The Rail Safety Standards Board said that the number of people who took their own life, or were suspected of killing themselves, decreased from 287 to 252 in 2015.

It is the first time a reduction in railway suicides - which account for 5% of all suicides - has been recorded in three years.

Greater co-operation between the rail industry and the Samaritans has been attributed to the "significant" fall.

More than 1,100 potentially life-saving interventions have been carried out since last April as part of the co-operation between the services.

Network Rail and the Samaritans created a partnership in 2010 and since then, more than 10,500 rail staff have been trained to intervene to help people considering taking their own lives.

Ian Stevens, suicide prevention programme manager at Network Rail, said he welcomed the "significant drop in rail suicides".

He added that he hoped the "trend continues in line with the ongoing work of our suicide prevention programme and long term relationship with Samaritans".

Ruth Sutherland, CEO of the Samaritans, said that the reduction showed that the co-operation between the charity and the rail network was making a "real difference".

"We can build on this by training more railway staff and by encouraging people to contact Samaritans when they are finding it hard to cope."

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