• Premier welcomes PSOs deployed at 100th rail station
• $212 million invested to roll out 940 PSOs by the end of the year
• Coalition Government providing record investment in law and order to build a better and safer Victoria
Premier Denis Napthine today joined Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells at Burwood Station to mark the 100th rail station at which Protective Services Officers (PSOs) have been deployed across Melbourne’s rail network.
With a total of 682 PSOs patrolling 104 rail stations and surrounding areas from tomorrow, Dr Napthine today recognised the significant difference PSOs have made in protecting commuters from crime, violence and anti-social behaviour.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to building a better and safer Victoria as PSOs continue to give commuters a greater sense of security when they use public transport,” Dr Napthine said.
From Tuesday 8 April, PSOs will also be deployed at Sandringham, Merlynston, Ivanhoe, North Richmond and Surrey Hills.
Dr Napthine said the Coalition Government remains on track to recruit and deploy 940 PSOs to suburban rail stations and major regional centres.
“The Coalition Government is also fulfilling its commitment to deliver 1,700 additional frontline police by November this year at a cost of $602 million, representing the single largest law and order recruitment exercise in Victoria’s history,” Dr Napthine said.
“Today there are more than 1,300 additional police protecting the community than when the government took office in November 2010.
“PSOs are enforcing a community expectation that people should be able to travel safely by targeting crime, violence and anti-social behaviour at railway stations from 6pm until after the last train at night, every night.”
Mr Wells said PSOs have issued more than 20,000 infringements at stations across the rail network since their initial deployment in February 2012.
“PSOs have the power to detain anyone who threatens public safety, confiscate weapons and issue fines. They are also trained in conflict resolution and dealing with vulnerable people,” Mr Wells said.
“Recruitment has far outstripped expectations and more than two-thirds of the Coalition Government’s total commitment of 940 PSOs have now graduated from the Victoria Police Academy.”
Member for Burwood Graham Watt and Member for Hawthorn Ted Baillieu welcomed the deployment of PSOs to rail stations in their respective electorates.
“Independent research shows that people overwhelmingly support PSOs and indeed locals who use trains around this area have repeatedly told me that they welcome the presence of PSOs at train stations especially at night,” Mr Watt said.
“Today’s announcement will make a valuable contribution to increasing community safety by addressing any anti social behaviour that undermines people’s safety on public transport in Burwood and surrounding areas,” Mr Baillieu said.