Call for more train line of­fi­cers

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Victoria Park - Michele Nu­gent

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.”

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