Multi-million dollar security boost for new railway
Premier Alan Carpenter has today announced a massive security boost for the Perth-to-Mandurah railway line with the establishment of a new 50-member Police Rail Unit.
Mr Carpenter also announced $5.7million for a new purpose-built police station for the unit, which will be located next to the Rockingham railway station.
The Premier said the new Police Rail Unit, combined with a range of other improved security measures already put in place by the State Government, would rank the Perth-to-Mandurah railway line among the most secure in the nation when it opens in July this year.
“The State Government has implemented improved security measures such as the Police Rail Unit as part of the 200-strong security and police presence to ensure commuter safety on the rail line,” he said.
“Our commitment is to ensure passengers can travel safely on the new state-of-the-art railway system between Perth and Mandurah, knowing there is police and Public Transport Authority (PTA) back-up if it is needed.
“There will be 200 police officers, PTA transit guards and PTA customer service personnel dedicated to security on the line.
“Their physical presence will be backed up by the latest technology; better security cameras on trains, emergency buttons and phones on platforms, high-standard lighting and our continuously monitored CCTV surveillance system, which is equal to anything in the world and which enables a very rapid response to anti-social behaviour and other incidents.
“On top of all this, the new SmartRider ticketing system will see the key stations on the new line gated, meaning they will be closed off to anyone who does not have a valid ticket.”
Mr Carpenter said the purpose-built police station would be constructed on land adjacent to the Rockingham railway station and bus interchange at a cost of $4.6million. Another $1.1million would be used to temporarily house the Police Rail Unit for about 18 months while their new station was built.
The Premier said it was expected the new police station would be completed in mid-2008 but the dedicated police service for the southern suburbs line would be in place for the July 2007 opening of the railway.
Police officers would patrol the railway line and surrounding area, working in conjunction with 100 PTA transit guards, who would respond to incidents on trains and monitor fare evaders and the 50 PTA customer service personnel.
“Transit guards will ride the trains and patrol train stations,” Mr Carpenter said.
“Police Rail Unit officers will target crime issues such as serious assaults, drugs and burglaries on and around trains and at stations.
“Police will also run targeted operations in conjunction with the transit guards to cut down crimes like theft at stations.”
Mr Carpenter said the new security measures would give travellers peace of mind about their safety.