• Public safety improved for Ballarat rail users with deployment of PSOs to Ballarat 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 Ballarat 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 today joined by Members for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay and David O’Brien to announce Ballarat 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 Ballarat Police Service Area.”
Members for Western Victoria Region Simon Ramsay and David O’Brien welcomed the announcement of PSOs for Ballarat.
“Public safety is paramount, and the Coalition Government is doing its part to ensure our streets and rail network are as safe as possible,” Mr Ramsay said.
“Their presence helps to boost the emergency response capability in the area and also increases perceptions of safety for Victorians who might otherwise avoid train travel at night.”
“PSOs are helping to create a greater sense of security, which means people can travel with a minimum of inconvenience,” Mr O’Brien said.
Since their initial deployment in February 2012, PSOs have issued more than 20,000 infringements at stations across the rail network.
“I am pleased that commuters who use the busy Ballarat rail station will now feel safer knowing they are protected by PSOs,” Mr Wells said.
Media contact: Jess Jackson 0437 422 048