• Public safety improved for Bendigo rail users with deployment of PSOs to Bendigo rail station
• 702 PSOs now deployed to 108 rail stations patrolling from 6pm until after the last train at night
• Victorian Coalition Government helping to build stronger and safer communities
Community safety will be boosted for Bendigo rail users with Protective Services Officers (PSOs) taking to regional platforms for the first time from tomorrow (Tuesday 29 April).
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells was joined by Member for Northern Victoria Region Amanda Millar today to announce Bendigo will be among the first of four major regional rail stations to receive PSOs.
“Today’s announcement is a major investment in community safety for regional Victoria and part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s commitment to building a better and safer Victoria,” Mr Wells said.
“A total of 702 PSOs have now been deployed across 108 stations, patrolling from 6pm until after the last train every night.
“PSOs have been welcomed by Melbourne rail commuters, and the Coalition Government is proud to deliver on our commitment to deploy PSOs to one of Victoria’s major regional centres.
“PSOs are an important part of the Coalition Government’s effort to target crime, violence and anti-social behaviour.
“Their presence will keep commuters safe by patrolling the train platform, car parks and surrounds to prevent property damage, and alcohol and transport related crime.”
Mr Wells said the Coalition Government is on track to recruit and deploy 940 PSOs to suburban rail stations and major regional centres by November 2014, as part of a $212 million investment.
“As well as 940 PSOs, the Coalition Government is also on track to deliver 1700 additional frontline police by November this year at a cost of $602 million, representing the single largest law enforcement recruitment exercise in Victoria’s history,” Mr Wells said.
“Today, there are 1,300 more police protecting the community than when Labor left office in November 2010.
“The Coalition Government recently announced another significant investment in community safety, providing $13.5 million for the rollout of tasers to all 24-hour police stations across regional Victoria, including Bendigo Police Service Area.”
Members for Northern Victoria Region Amanda Millar, Damian Drum and Wendy Lovell welcomed the announcement of PSOs for Bendigo.
“People who use trains have told us that they welcome the rollout of PSOs at rail stations,” Ms Millar said.
“Their presence helps to reduce crime on our rail stations and also increases perceptions of safety for Victorians who might otherwise avoid train travel at night.”
“I am pleased that commuters who use the busy Bendigo rail station will now feel safer knowing they are protected by PSOs,” Mr Drum said.
Since their initial deployment in February 2012, PSOs have issued more than 20,000 infringements at stations across the rail network.
Media contact: Jess Jackson 0437 422 048