First serve of new PSOs to patrol tram & train stops as part of trial at Australian Open

12:22' 09-01-2018
For the first time Protective Services Officers (PSOs) will proactively patrol tram and train stops during the day and night as part of a trial of a new flexible deployment model at the Australian Open.

    Photo: Herald Sun

    From Monday 15 to Sunday 28 January, PSOs will be present at the Melbourne Park and William Barak Bridge tram stops as well as Flinders Street and Richmond railway stations.

    Up to 30 PSOs will be patrolling these areas in the vicinity of the Australian Open between 8am and 2am every day.

    They will be tasked to proactively target crime and antisocial behaviour, providing an additional safety capability at the busy public transport hubs.

    Following the trial, Victoria Police’s new Integrated Transport Security Model (ITSM) will commence in February to enable flexible, intelligence-led PSO patrols as and when required.

    The launch of the new model is a result of the first 25 of an additional 100 transit PSOs funded through the Victorian Government Community Safety Statement coming online.

    Deputy Commissioner Andrew Crisp said expanding the footprint and visibility of PSOs would free up transit and general duties police to focus on preventing and targeting criminal behaviour in other areas.

    “This intelligence-led deployment model will ensure our police and PSOs are where they need to be, when they need to be to address crime issues across the public transport network and at major events such as the Australian Open,” he said.

    “From February, Transit Safety Division will deploy flexible, intelligence-led PSO patrols around the Melbourne CBD.

    “This may be to tackle hotspots across the public transport network as well as support for major events at various times of the day and night.

    “The flexible patrols will be expanded across the public transport network as the remaining 75 additional transit PSOs come on board over the next three years.

    “The current nightly PSO deployments at 213 metro and four regional railway stations every evening will remain, as will our Night Network commitments on Friday and Saturday nights.”

    DC Crisp said the PSO trial was only one component of the highly-visible police presence which will be maintained for the duration of the Australian Open.

    “We’re encouraging all Victorians and visitors to come along and enjoy the activities on offer in Melbourne during the Australian Open,” he said.

    “Beyond our PSO deployments at the tram and train stops, tennis fans can expect to see police at Melbourne Park, other major transport hubs and right across Melbourne and Yarra.

    “Our officers will be on the look-out for disruptive, antisocial or criminal behaviour but everyone has a responsibility to make sure everyone feels safe and relaxed.

    “If your behaviour or the behaviour of your friends is making others uncomfortable, put a stop to it before police or security have to intervene.”

    As with previous years, traffic and crowd measures will be in place, so those attending the tennis are advised to leave a bit of extra time to get through the gates.

    “To avoid traffic congestion, take public transport to the event or plan your trip in advance so you’re aware of any road closures or road works,” DC Crisp said.

    “Authorities will be targeting drivers, including both ride-sharing services and the general public, who add to the congestion and put pedestrians at risk by illegally stopping their vehicle or double parking.”

    The Australian Open runs from 15 to 28 January.

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