A 50-strong PSO Strike Force under a re-elected Napthine Government

  • A re-elected Coalition Government will invest $23 million to recruit, train and deploy an additional 50 PSOs
  • The investment will see the expansion of the Napthine Government’s hugely successful PSO program
  • Napthine Coalition Government building a better and safer Victoria

A PSO Strike Force will be recruited and deployed to curb anti-social behaviour after special events across the rail network, under a re-elected Napthine Government.

Premier Denis Napthine and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells today announced a re-elected Coalition Government will invest $23 million over four years towards the new 50-strong PSO Strike Force.

Dr Napthine said the unprecedented success of the Coalition’s PSO program, with 950 PSOs already deployed across the state,  means the policy will be expanded.

“Parts or all of the 50-strong strike force will be assigned to particular rail stations after specific events, from Friday night football to major public events,” Dr Napthine said.

“Expect to see these new PSOs after the Grand Final, the Grand Prix, the Spring Racing Carnival, and one-off events like White Night.

“PSOs are trained and ideally suited to deal with and deter any anti-social behaviour that can arise out of large-scale public events,” Dr Napthine said.

Mr Wells said the PSO program had already been extended in July, with funding for an extra 96 PSOs.

“Not only have we achieved the 940 we committed to in 2010, but we have gone above and beyond, with ten more PSOs than promised, and a further 96 on top of that – the first tranche to begin training this month,” Mr Wells said.

“Never before have commuters been safer or felt safer on our trains.”

Mr Wells said the PSO initiative had been one of the most successful law and order policies in Victoria’s history.

“The fact that Labor called PSOs plastic police just shows that you can’t trust Labor to get it right on making Victoria safer,” Mr Wells said.

Mr Wells said the proof was in the more than 34,000 infringements issued by PSOs since they were first deployed in February 2012.   “PSOs are actively reducing crime, detecting crime and stamping out anti-social behaviour on our rail network,” Mr Wells said.

“For nearly four years now PSOs have been tackling crimes such as  graffiti, drunk and disorderly behaviour and transport infringements, and in the process have been freeing up police to deal with more serious crimes.  “In addition they have played a role in close to 1500 arrests for serious offences such as assaults,” Mr Wells said.

Mr Wells said the 950 PSOs complement the already exceeded election promise of 1,700 extra police on the beat with more than 1,900 extra police deployed across the state.

“The Napthine Government has spent the last four years dealing with Labor’s mess – and in the meantime have worked hard to deliver a better and safer Victoria.”

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