Protective Services Officers (PSOs) will patrol tram and train stops during the Australian Open supporting police officers, targeting criminal behaviour and boosting public safety.
As part of a new trial of flexible PSO teams, PSOs will be present during the day and night at Melbourne Park and William Barak Bridge tram stops and at Flinders Street and Richmond train stations to keep commuters and tennis fans safe.
Around 30 PSOs will be patrolling these areas surrounding the Australian Open between 8am and 2am every day between January 15 to 28.
The trial forms part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $2 billion Community Safety Statement -- which includes funding for 100 flexible PSOs to target hotspots across the public transport network.
The additional PSOs will complement a highly visible police presence at Melbourne Park, where police officers will be out in force preventing crime and targeting anti-social behaviour.
Hundreds of thousands of tennis enthusiasts are expected to use public transport to get to and from the sporting precinct over the 14-day event.
PSOs will work closely with Metro and Yarra Trams customer service staff during the trial period at the Australian Open.
The first 25 PSOs, as funded by the Labor Government, are now employed and after the Australian Open will be deployed across Melbourne’s CBD network as required.
The new teams will increase the overall flexibility of PSOs to ensure safety for commuters during peak periods, including major events which take place outside of normal PSO hours of duty.
New PSO powers will also come into force in the coming months to give officers a more active community safety role.
Under these reforms PSOs will have the power to arrest people who have breached their parole, conduct searches for illicit drugs, and request names and addresses from people who witness a crime.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“Police and PSOs will be out in force to protect the community as Melbourne welcomes thousands of tennis enthusiasts as part of this year’s Australian Open.”
“We want all Victorians and visitors to feel safe using our public transport system and these additional PSOs will add to the existing police visibility and provide public reassurance.”
“This is part of our record investment in community safety which will see another 100 PSOs working across the transport network with greater powers to respond to incidents and target anti-social behaviour and crime.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020