Call for more train line officers
OATS Street, Burswood and Carlisle train stations in the Town of Victoria Park have been identified as the top crime hot spots on the ArmadaleThornlie train line.
Last October, Swan MHR Steve Irons conducted a Tackling Train Crime survey of passengers to get feedback about their perception of safety.
Of the 247 responses, Mr Irons said passengers emphasised the need for more transit officers on the train network.
“I believe transit officers should patrol all metropolitan train stations from 6pm until the last train, 365 days a year, with additional officers hired by the Public Transport Authority (PTA) to meet this need,” Mr Irons said.
“At a minimum, the Armadale-Thornlie train line should be trialled in this capacity given that it continues to be identified as Perth’s most dangerous.”
Mr Irons said if the State’s security model was not improved, and alternative systems reviewed or trailed, crime across the train network would remain at unacceptable levels.
He believed Victoria’s Protective Service Officer (PSO) program was an effective model in reducing violent and anti-social behaviour.
There were key differences between the operational provisions and powers of Victoria’s PSOs when compared to WA’s transit officers.
“This includes PSO’s power to arrest people on outstanding warrants, stations being patrolled from 6pm until after the last train, 365 days a year, and enhanced search and detain powers similar to those of the State’s police officers,” Mr Irons said. “PSOs are also permitted to carry a firearm, which acts as an additional deterrent.”
Mr Irons said PTA figures revealed more than one in three assaults on passengers in 2012 occurred along the ArmadaleThornlie train line.
Acting Transport Minister John Day said the current transit security model was working, with assaults and dangerous behaviour down. “There are more transit officers working at the PTA than ever before; more than 260 in total,” Mr Day said.
Mr Day said the PTA was aware the Armadale line posed challenges, which was why it had more security staff than any other train line.
He said the PTA’s central monitoring room took a direct feed from about 1600 cameras at stations. It also had access to an extra 8500 cameras inside railcars and buses. Of those, 270 cameras were on the Armadale and Thornlie lines.
“The Transperth network and its transit officers are the best trained and best resourced in the country,” Mr Day said. “We are the envy of other states, including Victoria.”