• Victorian Coalition government on track to deliver Protective Services Officers (PSOs) promise
• 586 PSOs already deployed
• Coalition Government protecting the community
The Victorian Coalition Government is on track to deliver its 2010 commitment of 940 Protective Services Officers (PSOs) patrolling train stations by November this year with more than 60 per cent of the target of PSOs already reached.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells said there were currently 586 PSOs deployed to 82 stations across the rail network from 6pm until after the last train every night.
The Report on Government Services (RoGS), released today showed passengers feel safer on public transport after dark, findings supported by a 2013 independent evaluation on perceptions of safety at train stations.
“The Coalition Government’s policy on PSOs at train stations has proved an enormous success,” Mr Wells said.
“Victorians’ perceptions of safety on public transport at night have improved for the third year in a row, while PSOs are assisting police to address anti-social behaviour, especially alcohol fuelled violence.”
The RoGS showed that Victoria’s general satisfaction with police services had increased to 78.1 per cent in 2012-13, surpassing the national average of 76.8 per cent.
“PSOs are making a difference to public safety and now feel safer knowing they are protected by PSOs,” Mr Wells said.
Since the program began in February 2011, PSOs have issued more than 16,000 infringement notices for a wide range of offences, including being drunk in a public place, possessing alcohol, graffiti and possession of weapons.
“PSOs have powers 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.
“In addition to the $212 million committed for the recruitment of 940 PSOs, the Coalition Government has provided a record investment of $602 million to deliver 1,700 extra frontline police members by November 2014.
“This will be the biggest single recruitment of police in a single term of government.”
Mr Wells said the Coalition Government was on target to meet both commitments with more than 1,200 new police now allocated to the front line.
The Coalition Government has also provided $119 million over three budgets for new and upgraded police stations and facilities across the state.
“The Coalition Government is delivering on its election commitments to policing, ensuring improved community safety as opposed to the previous Labor Government’s 11 years of soft on crime and law and order agenda,” Mr Wells said.
Media contact: Jess Jackson 0437 422 048