Device used to sabotage railway near Peterborough had pro-Brexit messages attached to it

British Transport Police
British Transport Police

Police say a device left on a railway line at Yaxley could have been an attempt to ‘sabotage the railway’ - and could ‘be linked to Brexit.’

British Transport Police (BTP) said the ‘device’ was left on the line at Yaxley on March 21. Another incident occurred in Netherfield, Nottinghamshire, on March 27.

Police have not revealed any more information about the devices - but ACC Sean O’Callghan said it is believed the attempt to disrupt the rail network ‘relates to Britain’s exit from the European Union’.

It has been reported the devices had pro-Brexit messages attached to them.

In both incidents, colleagues from Network Rail had identified devices on the rail tracks which were intended to cause disruption to railway services. The items failed to disrupt services as intended. Detectives are now working closely with the rail industry to investigate these incidents.

ACC O’Callaghan said: “This was a serious and deliberate attempt by someone to cause significant sabotage and disruption to Britain’s rail network.

“We are urgently investigating the circumstances behind both incidents and are working extremely closely with our national partners, including the rail industry.

“It is important to highlight that these acts were intended only to delay services and not cause damage to the infrastructure, however this failed on both occasions. The railway has a number of substantial safeguards in place to prevent and detect this type of sabotage and we are now working tirelessly to identify those responsible.

“We’re are currently keeping an open mind on why someone would put their life at risk to place these items on a live railway, however our early assessment has led us to believe it relates to Britain’s exit from the European Union.

“We’ll continue to monitor this situation extremely closely and have circulated advice to rail operators and indeed Network Rail. “Anyone with information should contact British Transport Police by sending a text to 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40.”