The Napthine Government continues to deliver on its commitment to make railway stations safer with Protective Services Officers beginning patrols at Glenhuntly rail station from tomorrow night.
Representing Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells, Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Emergency Services David Southwick said PSOs would patrol the train platforms, car parks and immediate surrounds.
“PSOs are helping to prevent anti-social behaviour, property damage, violence and alcohol and transport-related crime on our rail network,” Mr Southwick said.
“We have increased our initial commitment to deliver 940 PSOs on our rail stations by adding a further 96 to the program.
“The government is getting on with the job and has delivered on its commitment to recruit, train and deploy 1,700 additional frontline police.
“This $863.1 million investment in police and PSOs represents the single largest law and order recruitment exercise in Victoria’s history.”
PSOs will be deployed to 212 metropolitan railway stations as well as four major regional stations.
“The government is committed to improving safety on our rail network. Public safety is paramount, and the government is doing its part to ensure our rail stations are safer,” Mr Southwick said.
“Just as commuters at railway stations that already have PSOs feel safer, I’m sure the people who use Glenhuntly station will feel safer as well.”
Mr Southwick said PSOs were starting work at Glenhuntly and three other stations this week.
“PSOs are also being deployed to Hawthorn, Moorabbin and Heatherdale stations from 6pm to after the last train every night,” he said.
After this week’s deployment Victoria will have 909 PSOs patrolling stations across the network.
“An independent survey of train passengers shows the presence of PSOs makes them feel safer at rail stations,” Mr Southwick said.
“Overall what this survey clearly says is that people now feel that rail stations are safer places at night thanks to the introduction of PSOs.”
Night-time train users gave PSOs almost universal approval with 94 per cent agreeing that PSOs are a good idea and 93 per cent stating that they would seek their help if they felt unsafe.
“Awareness of PSOs has also increased, with 94 per cent of night-time train users reported having seen PSOs on patrol, and those commuters who knew PSOs patrolled their station felt safer,” Mr Southwick said.
PSOs complete a 12-week course that includes the same operational tactics and safety training undertaken by Victoria Police officers.
Newly-graduated PSOs are mentored by experienced PSOs at city loop rail stations for three months.
“Since deployments began in February 2012, PSOs have issued more than 29,000 infringement notices for offences including being drunk, engaging in disorderly behaviour, carrying weapons and graffiti,” Mr Southwick said.
“Of these, more than 1,700 infringements were for being drunk in a public place or being drunk and disorderly with 3,500 involving ticketing offences and more than 22,000 transport offences.”