Victorian public transport safer than ever

By: Jason Whittaker


New figures released by the Victorian Government show travel on public transport is becoming safer, despite a rapidly increasing number

New figures released by the Victorian Government show travel on public transport is becoming safer, despite a rapidly increasing number of people using trams, trains and buses.

Latest crime statistics show that per one million trips, overall crime on the public transport network dropped by 10.5 percent over the last year, with a 14 percent reduction in assaults.

Police Minister Bob Cameron says the downward trend in public transport crime is due to a concerted and ongoing partnership between the State Government, Victoria Police and public transport operators.

"Victoria has a public transport system that is safer than ever before," Cameron says.

"These figures show that our public transport system is heading in the right direction when it comes to providing a safer option for people travelling across the state, with crime having dropped by 43.1 percent since 2000/01.

"This is despite there being more than 518 million journeys across metropolitan and regional Victoria in the 2007/08 year – a jump of more than 140 million extra passenger trips on public transport since 2000/01."

The figures show that for every one million trips on the public transport system, there are less than three assaults, three cases of property damage and less than one robbery.

Victoria Police Transit Superintendent Chris O’Neill attributes the overall reduction in crime on the public transport system to a high police visibility and presence and operations designed to deter theft.

"Crime is declining and police, along with public transport Authorised Officers, are working harder than ever to stamp out bad behaviour," O’Neill says.

Crimes against property dropped by 12.7 percent over the last year with the overall decrease since 2000/01 now at 48.6 percent, however O’Neill says people should still take precautions to not leave valuables in their cars in clear sight of would-be vandals when parking at train stations.

Connex Group General Manager of Customer Service Geoff Young says smarter deployment of authorised officers through their partnership with Victoria Police Transit Safety Division was a key to the achievements.

"Asset protection has also been very successful. As many as 2000 people a day are getting a train where they would otherwise have been inconvenienced due to graffiti or vandalism," Young says.

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