New service reaches out to WA youth on rail network
A new service being trialled in Perth will provide support to intoxicated and other at-risk young people on the urban rail network.
The Rail Outreach Project is being run by Drug ARM WA, a non-Government drug and alcohol agency, with the support of the Public Transport Authority.
The trial program has received $15,000 in funding from the Office of Crime Prevention.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said Drug ARM youth workers and volunteers would travel along the Armadale Line, offering informal counselling and practical help.
“The project will operate on a pilot basis on alternate Friday and Saturday nights, between the hours of 8pm and 1am, when there are no other services available to young people,” Ms MacTiernan said.
“The pilot program will operate until mid-September, when its impact will be evaluated.”
The Minister said the Government had invested heavily in making the rail system as safe and secure as possible for its customers.
“Our Transit Officers do a terrific job and they are backed up by a world-class CCTV surveillance and monitoring system, special lighting and emergency communications, as well as an excellent working relationship with the Police Rail Unit,” she said
“Though incident statistics show that substance abuse is not a huge problem for us, it can be confronting for our customers, so we are very pleased to have Drug ARM help our staff address the matter.”
Drug ARM WA executive director Susy Thomas said she hoped to extend the concept, which she believed was an Australian first, to all train lines following the pilot.
“Young people can be at risk in a public space for many reasons; a family breakdown, drug and alcohol use, anti-social behaviour and boredom,” Ms Thomas said.
“This is a great opportunity for us to offer help to them when and where they need it.”