Rail violence waning as security program takes effect
A crackdown on offensive behaviour on the Armadale rail line has seen the number of violent offences reduced dramatically.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan says the ongoing security blitz targeting violent and anti-social offenders has been a continued success.
"The Government's big investment in rail safety and security has turned the tide," Ms MacTiernan said.
"However, we recognise that there is still anti-social behaviour out there and we will continue to target it with more resources."
Over the past five years, the Government has invested heavily both in security personnel and in security equipment.
PTA figures show incidents of violent behaviour have fallen 50 per cent over the last three years and assaults are down 20 per cent in the same time.
"Quite aside from new stations at Armadale and Gosnells, we have spent about $8million on lights, cameras, emergency buttons and $3.5m on Transit Guards," the Minister said.
The most recent blitz over the last month has involved plain-clothes officers (PCOs) joining regular customers from 5am on the Armadale line and conducting thousands of random checks, with hundreds of infringements and dozens of arrests made.
"We have supplemented the uniformed transit guard presence with plain-clothes officers to ensure the safety and integrity of our rail network," Ms MacTiernan said.
"The guards have also been conducting barrier checks in a clamp-down on fare dodgers.
"The substantial increase in infringements is a direct result of our sustained campaign to clean up the rail system in general and the Armadale line in particular."
The Minister said the campaign against rail crime would continue and stressed the State Government would not be taking a backward step.
"It is in everyone's interests to make our trains safer, to encourage more people to use public transport - and that is what we are going to do," she said.