Victoria Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder
Victoria Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells
Narre Warren And Burnley Stations Now Protected
Victor P Taffa
More of Melbourne’s commuters will be safer every night of the week with the deployment of Protective Services Officers (PSOs) to a further two railway stations Narre Warren and Burnley.
Visiting new PSOs at Narre Warren railway station today, Police and Emergency Services Minister Kim Wells said the latest deployment means there are now 376 PSOs patrolling 52 railway stations across the network from 6 pm until after the last train every night.
“The safety of commuters is an important priority for the Victorian Coalition Government and it’s pleasing to see another two busy railway stations Narre Warren and Burnley now added to the list of PSO deployments across the rail network.” Mr. Wells said.
The PSOs will commence work at the two stations at 6 pm tomorrow, Tuesday 4 June 2013. In the first 10 months that PSOs were deployed, they contributed to almost 1,400 arrests. PSOs have apprehended more than 500 people with outstanding warrants, more than 700 for drunkenness and 64 who were breaching their bail conditions.
Mr. Wells said commuters and small businesses had said very clearly that there had been a change in community perceptions of safety at railway stations since PSOs were deployed.
“PSOs are making a difference to public safety through their work in calming threatening situations and neutralising conflict, and they are making the community feel safer through the deterrent effect that their presence brings.” Mr. Wells said.
Mr. Wells said the Victoria Police PSO recruitment campaign ‘Are you ready to stand out?’ had delivered excellent results.
More than 2,600 people have attended PSO information sessions and more than 1,300 people have applied to become a PSO since the launch of the campaign. Anybody who is considering a career as a PSO is encouraged to visit the Victoria Police website and register for an information session.
Mr. Wells said the Coalition Government had committed to recruiting and deploying 940 PSOs to the rail network, as part of a $212 Million investment, by November 2014.
In the 2013-14 Victorian Budget, the Coalition Government allocated a further $78 Million to upgrade remaining rail stations to support the continued roll-out of PSOs.
“We are ensuring that rail stations across the network are protected from criminal activity and threatening behaviour every night from 6 pm until after the last train.” Mr. Wells said.
“As well as 940 PSOs, an additional 1,700 frontline Police officers will be recruited by November 2014, which represents the largest single law enforcement recruitment exercise in Victoria’s history.”
Mr. Wells welcomed the new PSO recruits to Narre Warren and Burnley rail stations and said he was proud of the Coalition Government’s unprecedented investment in law and order.
“PSOs make people using public transport feel safer and commuters who use Narre Warren and Burnley station will benefit from their presence.” Mr. Wells said.