VicPol Corporate

Police are here to assist and ensure the safety and security of the travelling public throughout the state's public transit networks.

Protective Services Officers (PSO) are located at all 212 metropolitan train stations in Melbourne and four regional train stations across Victoria including:

  • Bendigo
  • Traralgon
  • Ballarat
  • Geelong

As well as:

  • transport hubs
  • tram super stops
  • commuting on trams and trains

PSOs can:

  • request name and address
  • arrest and detain persons
  • search people and property
  • seize items such as weapons, graffiti implements, drugs and alcohol
  • issue infringement notices
  • issue a direct 'move-on' from the area

Uniform patrols are also performed on:

  • suburban rail system
  • metropolitan tram system
  • buses
  • stations and other associated facilities

In some situations, such as large events like White Night – special tasking teams operate:

  • in plain clothes
  • in a covert manner
  • in designated areas targeting identified problem areas

In an emergency

If you witness or are involved in an emergency while using public transport, report the incident by calling Emergency Assistance on '000'.

To report a crime after the completion of the journey you can contact Crime Stoppers on:

Safety on public transport

Travelling on public transport is one of the safest ways to travel and there are things you can do to keep safe while waiting for a train, bus or tram, getting on or off, and while you are in transit.

Plan your route

Whether you travel on public transport every day or just occasionally, the following information is provided to help maximise your safety.

  • know where you are going:
    • most bus, tram and train operators have timetables or a website/app with route information
    • know the names of the streets you are travelling along
    • familiarise yourself with the location of a nearby police station on your journey
    • consider the area around you and choose the route you feel most comfortable with
  • develop a safety plan:
    • in an emergency this pre-thought strategy may assist you to deal promptly, clearly and confidently
    • carry a phone card, spare change or mobile phone
    • consider travelling with a friend
  • observe your environment:
    • observe the people around you
    • familiarise yourself with facilities, such as shops and public telephones
    • wait in well-lit and clearly visible areas

En route

  • listen and watch for traffic and trams
  • if wearing headphones keep the volume low so you can hear the traffic and other things around you
  • wait at your station or stop in areas that are well-lit and clearly visible
  • stand away from the kerb or within the tram safety zone marked on the ground
  • make sure traffic has stopped before crossing the road to board a tram
  • make sure the tram or bus has stopped before boarding

Onboard

  • when purchasing your ticket on a tram observe the conditions and any persons around you
  • keep clear of doorways
  • place schoolbags, shopping bags or briefcases out of the way – on your lap if you are seated or between your feet if you are standing
  • if carrying valuables hold onto them and conceal them if possible
  • portray confidence, it shows in your body language and indicates how you are feeling
  • be friendly and confident if talking to other passengers, but be cautious about telling others too much about yourself, like where you live and who you live with

Locate the safety features

Familiarise yourself with safety devices at the stop or platform and onboard. These could include CCTV cameras, safety zones, emergency buttons and phones. There may also be public transport staff who can assist you if you do not feel safe.

Closed circuit television (CCTV)

All railway stations and many train carriages are equipped with CCTV cameras which capture video surveillance security footage.

Safety zones

Safety zones are specific areas on a platform marked out by signs at the station and clear, yellow lines on the platform floor. These zones are well lit and located within reach of the public emergency communication system. Safety zones receive video surveillance throughout the train station's hours of operation.

Public emergency communication systems

Each train station platform is fitted with a public emergency and information communication system.

The system is operated by a red and a green button:

  • pressing the green button gives you train timetabling information
  • pressing the red button gives you direct access to speak to the train driver and station staff for assistance in an emergency

Many train carriages are also equipped with an emergency communication system. In an emergency commuters can Video surveillance on train platforms and in carriages is directed at these public emergency and information communication systems.

Getting off safely

  • before leaving the tram or bus, look back to see if you have left behind any valuables
  • stand clear of doors when they are closing
  • watch your step on the way out
  • check for traffic before getting off
  • cross the road at a designated pedestrian crossing – if there is not a crossing nearby, cross the road where you have a clear view of all traffic

Personal safety

If your personal safety is threatened when you are on public transport you can:

  • if you are being harassed tell the person to stop what they are doing in a loud and assertive voice so they become the centre of attention
  • consider moving somewhere else or closer to other passengers
  • report the person – tell the driver or public transport staff who can contact police
  • trust your instincts – do what you feel will improve your safety and make you feel more comfortable

Parking safety

Bicycle and vehicle theft is often a crime of opportunity. You can reduce the opportunity by using the following advice to reduce the risk of theft occurring.

Securing bicycles at transport areas

  • at train stations secure your bicycle in the designated bicycle area only
  • secure both the frame and wheels of your bicycle
  • secure your bicycle with a good quality lock
  • take any easily removable bicycle equipment such as lights or a helmet with you
  • use bicycle lockers located at train stations, free of charge

Car parking

When leaving your vehicle unattended always:

  • remove the keys from your vehicle
  • lock the vehicle and close all windows
  • remove valuables such as wallets, briefcases, handbags, loose change, laptops, mobile phones and tools from display
  • remove the global positioning system (GPS) from display, as well as support bracket and suction pads if possible

If possible, park your vehicle in a space where it will be clearly visible during the day and at night. When returning to your vehicle from a station or stop, have your keys ready in your hand allowing for simple passage into your vehicle.

To minimise the risk of theft of older vehicles install:

  • a certified engine immobiliser – this shuts down the vehicle engine should an attempt to start the vehicle without the key be made
  • replace any standard number plate screws with one-way security screws to help prevent number plate theft
  • instal a petrol cap with a lock

Resources

See this pocket sized public transport safety guide provides facts and figures and safe travel tips: 

Contact

Transit Duty Sergeant
Transit Safety Division Administration
Level 4, 637 Flinders Street
Docklands, VIC 3008
Phone: (03) 9247 3800

Reviewed 13 March 2019

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