Police and Authorised Officers (AOs) will join forces during the school holidays to patrol Melbourne shopping centre transport interchanges, watching for fare evaders and antisocial behaviour.
The joint effort between 29 June and 15 July is aimed at continuing to reduce fare evasion and improving safety at key transport hubs, which are extra busy during school holiday periods with students meeting and socializing during their break.
Public Transport Victoria (PTV) and Victoria Police, working with colleagues at Metro Trains, Yarra Trams and V/Line, ran more than 30 joint operations in 2018 and have already delivered 25 in the first five months of 2019.
The operations have improved safety at various locations including Doncaster, South Morang, Werribee, Dandenong, Frankston, Ringwood, Boronia, Northland, Broadmeadows, Sunshine and Southland.
More than 600 AOs are employed across the network to keep public transport running smoothly and ensure all passengers are paying their way.
AOs check tickets, provide passenger information and improve safety and help during special events and disruptions. Over the past 18 months, AOs have checked more than 12 million mykis and tickets and reported more than 235,000 ticketing and behavioural offences.
Victoria Police conducts visible and plain-clothes patrols across the public transport network. There are also specialist police who investigate offences and conduct major operations to deter and apprehend offenders on the public transport network.
PTV’s latest fare compliance survey showed overall fare compliance across Melbourne was at 96 per cent – the second highest in the survey’s 13-year history.
As stated by Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne
“We want everyone travelling around Melbourne during the school holidays to get where they need to go safely, quickly and easily.”
“We’re making it easier for people to top up, touch on and travel with a valid ticket.”
As noted by Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville
“Combining the efforts and skills of our Authorised Officers with Victoria Police help ensure all passengers are safe and doing the right thing when they travel on public transport.”