Campaign targets unsafe, anti-social behaviour on the railway
There have been more than 650 instances of people risking serious injury or death by trespassing on Perth’s railway tracks so far this year.
There were also more than 370 instances of damage to railway property, including vandalism and graffiti.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan today launched a campaign targeting unsafe and anti-social behaviour on the Transperth passenger rail network.
Ms MacTiernan said that so far this year, there had been:
- 526 arrests and 122 summons issued for crimes such as assault, offensive behaviour and substance abuse; and
- 1,743 infringement notices issued by transit guards for anti-social behaviour.
The Minister said the new campaign would focus initially on the Perth-Armadale line, which had the highest incidence of criminal and anti-social behaviour.
“We will be encouraging people to think about the consequences their unsafe behaviour could have on themselves and on other people,” she said.
“As well as an explicit poster campaign on railway stations and crossings, we will be working with schools located along the line to raise student awareness of risks and consequences.”
Ms MacTiernan said Transperth statistics showed that most incidents of unsafe behaviour involved people aged between 12 and 22.
People who trespassed on railway tracks, whether to take a short cut, or to vandalise, risked being maimed or killed by a train or the high-voltage electricity used in the system.
“Our trains move very rapidly and relatively silently; trespassers, especially if they are affected by alcohol or drugs, might have no chance to get out of the way,” the Minister said.
“Such terrible accidents can have a huge and lifetime impact on the train driver, obviously on the trespasser and on both their families.
“We will also target the low-level anti-social behaviour that can make train journeys unpleasant for passengers and is often a precursor to criminal behaviour such as theft and assaults.
“As well as identifying unacceptable behaviour, we will be telling young train users about their rights and what they can do if they are being harassed or threatened on our rail network.”
Ms MacTiernan said the campaign supported the State Government’s massive investment in transit guards, rail police, CCTV and improved lighting and safety on the rail system.