Victorians can look forward to seeing more Protective Services Officers (PSOs) across the public transport network with PSOs to start patrolling trains from today, as part of a key community safety commitment delivered by the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Police Lisa Neville joined a team of PSOs at Southern Cross Station today as they prepare to roll out on their first shift across the train network as part of a new Integrated Transport Security Model (ITSM).
Mobile teams of Transit PSOs will now be able to proactively target crime and anti-social behaviour on trains, in addition to their existing work on the public transport network.
There is no change to the existing policy of PSO presence at train stations but this change will allow for increased flexibility and mobility across the network, including patrolling on trains and major transport hubs.
Mobile PSO teams will also promote additional public safety support for major events and at hotspots across the transport network according to Victoria Police intelligence.
PSOs perform a critical public safety role, providing a highly visible police presence that helps deter crime, reassure the community, and gather police intelligence.
This step change for public safety was first outlined in the Labor Government’s Community Safety Statement, which committed to an expanded role and presence for PSOs.
The change builds on earlier reforms with new laws in April giving PSOs more powers as well as the ongoing roll-out of mobile devices to PSOs, giving PSOs real-time access to law enforcement data.
PSOs have already been deployed at major events transport hubs such as this year’s Australian Open, the Grand Prix and they’ve been out in force in and around Melbourne CBD train stations – known hot spots for crime.
The Community Safety Statement – backed by $2 billion investment – funded an additional 100 mobile PSOs to be rolled out across the public transport network, of these, 25 new PSOs have already been deployed to the public transport network.
As stated by Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“We’ve changed the legislation and funded more PSOs so that we could expand their reach and give them more powers so they could help promote public safety across our public transport network.”
“Victorians told us that PSOs make them feel safer when travelling on trains at night. That’s why we worked closely with Victoria Police and Public Transport Victoria to make that happen.”