WELLS (Rowville) (12:47:50) — (13 389) The question I wish to raise is for the Minister for Police. Minister, given the increase in crime under the Andrews government, why has there been a substantial cut in the number of frontline protective services officers (PSOs) by 31 full-time positions from December 2016 until June of this year?This is the first time since 2011 there has been a cut to the number of PSOs assisting and protecting Victorians who use public transport.
With Melbourne’s booming population and the Night Network now running permanent late-night train services on weekends, the presence of PSOs will be stretched more thinly than ever before. Perceptions of public safety for people using public transport increased dramatically once PSOs began patrolling railway stations. Six years on it is absolutely clear that the Liberal-Nationals’ PSO policy has been an outstanding success. Now it seems the Andrews Labor government is increasingly prepared to risk the safety of the travelling public, even on late-night rail services during the small hours of the weekend.