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Transit guards and technology making Perth’s trains safer


Perth’s train system continues to get safer, with travellers experiencing significantly fewer violent and threatening incidents last year.

Public Transport Authority CEO Reece Waldock said today that the impact of a well-trained and well-equipped Transit Guard squad and high quality CCTV was reflected in latest incident statistics, which were achieved against a background of continually increasing passenger numbers.

Mr Waldock said that since 2003 the number of reported incidents of assault on the public had fallen by 22.5 per cent, while reports of disruptive behaviour had been more than halved.

“Our guards and our CCTV are getting the message to villains, that they will be caught and prosecuted,” Mr Waldock said

“New measures such as the barrier closures at major stations that came into operation last week will further strengthen security.

“As a result there is even less likelihood now that a passenger will face assault – in 2006 it was one reported assault for every 220,000 journeys compared to one every 150,000 in 2003.

“The improvement for threatening or disruptive behaviour reports is even greater, from once every 63,000 passenger boardings to once every 163,000.

“This marked decrease in violent behaviour towards passengers has allowed our guards to sharpen their focus on other behaviours which are less threatening but equally offensive and antisocial, and crack down on substance abuse on trains and around stations.

“While reported incidents of these ‘lesser’ offences have increased compared to three years ago, the message is finally getting across here as well, as the number for all offences dropped sharply last year, compared to the year before.

Mr Waldock paid credit to the Transit Guards for their efforts to make the rail system safer.

“While assaults on Transit Guards stayed steady last year, they have increased since 2003,” he said

“In part this reflects the increased security presence on stations, but it is also a result of our guards’ increased vigilance, commitment and effectiveness in dealing with anti-social behaviour.

“We are responding quicker, targeting trouble spots and getting more arrests.  This sends a clear message to offenders – we will not put up with antisocial behaviour on our public transport system.

“It is in everyone’s interests to encourage more people on to public transport by making our trains safer.

“This is reflected in the perceptions of our passengers – the people who actually use our trains every day.  Regular surveys tell us that 98 per cent of our passengers feel safe on board our trains during the day (and 74 per cent at night), and 96 per cent feel safe on platforms.”

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