Posted on 14. Apr, 2011 in News

Police Minister Peter Ryan needs to spend more time doing his job and fixing the mess that is the Baillieu Government’s PSO policy, Shadow Minister for Police James Merlino said today.

Mr Merlino said reports that train operator Metro is reviewing the policy have only added to the growing number of key players expressing major concern about its planning, resources and implementation.

“Police Minister Ryan might fancy himself as Victoria’s co-Premier but he would be better off concentrating on his job and fixing the shambolic mess that is the Baillieu Government’s PSO policy,” Mr Merlino said.

“It seems everyone involved with the policy has voiced concerns – about its planning, implementation and effects – including the rail operator, the rail union and the police association.

“PSOs will look like police, they will be armed like police, they may well be given more of the powers of police, but they will have just a fraction of the training that is provided to police.

“Police receive 23 weeks of training and another 10 weeks of on-the-job training with a superior officer as part of a two-year probationary period.

“In contrast, PSOs will receive just eight weeks of training before they are cut adrift and left to stand at railway stations from 6pm until the last train, 7 days a week.

“Minister Ryan needs to stop pretending he’s the co-Premier of Victoria and start doing some serious work to fix this policy.

“There are major concerns that it is under-costed, under-resourced and there will not be enough suitable applicants to fill the job.

“The Ryan-Baillieu Government also seems unable to spell out how it will fix basic problems such as providing amenities for the PSO staff on stations which currently do not have the facilities.

“Their only suggestion to date – to have police officers in divisional vans do toilet runs – is just absurd, and a waste of vital police resources.

“Everyone wants a safer public transport system, but Mr Ryan cannot continue to ignore the chorus of growing concerns about the way this policy is going to be implemented.”

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