3AW - Fairfax Radio Network

What we're talking about

PSOs targeting the vulnerable

Posted by: Ned Franklin | 7 December, 2012 - 11:03 AM
Protective Service Officers

Community Legal centres say Protective Services Officers are bored, poorly trained and are unfairly targeting the mentally ill.

There are reports this morning that PSOs are handing out hundreds of fines to disabled, mentally ill and homeless people because they are bored.

In one shocking case, PSOs fined a teenager with an intellectual disability 13 times in two months for riding his bike on the platform, not wearing a helmet and not having a bike light.

Executive Officer of Community Legal Services Hugh De Kretser says the armed officers are a disaster waiting to happen and he fears somebody will soon be shot.

"PSOs are trained less than police, they have virtually no experience and they are standing around train platforms for up to six hours a night.  They are bored," De Krester told Neil Mitchell this morning.

"Instead of issuing warnings and helping people address their behaviour they are issuing fines, which will result in potentially up to 60,000 fines issued per year.

"I spoke to one teenager who was caught drinking a beer on a train platform and was issued with a $300 fine.  He now has a criminal record."

However, Victoria's Police Association Secretary Greg Davies continues to throw his support behind Protective Services Officers.


PLAY: Executive Officer of Community Legal Services Hugh De Kretser with Neil Mitchell

Having problems listening? Upgrade your media player for Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Firefox.

Mornings with Neil Mitchell

Neil Mitchell Neil Mitchell is one of Australia’s most experienced journalists. He sets the Melbourne news agenda every day from 8:30am to 12pm.



Blog comments Your Say

  • I spoke to one teenager who was caught drinking a beer on a train platform and was issued with a $300 fine. He now has a criminal record....
    can always contest an unfair fine in court. try pleading your case with a drugo who wants your wallet and your phone at the station at ten oclock at night .
    think id rather deal with pso .

    maxx Monday 10 December, 2012 - 1:56 PM
  • Good on the PSO's & the Police, arrest all of these drug & drunken clowns who cause trouble. That's the problem with our society, our law enforcement is as soft as butter.

    Matt -proudly Un-Australian Monday 10 December, 2012 - 7:33 AM
  • @ Stevie I travel lawfully on the trains but I also have a work car that I can use. Instead of PSOs we should just make sure the transit police ride the trains. A few years ago a group of police rode every last train out of Flinders Street Station but not anymore. Also may be police should only get free public transport when they are in uniform. The problem is transit police are not riding the trains too the same extent they used too. Finally paying or not paying for a fare does not relate to unlawful conduct on trains. If we did not have myki and the new spencer street station at a combined cost of 3 billion dollars all Victorians could have had free public transport. the government has failed us yet again.

    Vicky Laing Sunday 9 December, 2012 - 1:55 PM
  • So we are critical of the PSO's for doing their jobs?

    Who is responsible for the alleged targetted vulnerable people.

    Don't break the law and hey presto you don't get fined.

    Me I am tired of freeloaders on te system.

    Most of the group you refer to don't even pay for the priveledge of using public transport.

    Thios is a beat up sorry to say.

    Guy Gisborne Sunday 9 December, 2012 - 11:26 AM
  • The governments idea of having PSOs on every station is flawed and everyone knows this. It is a common practice to book the homeless

    How do you book a homeless person? Where do you issue a reminder if they don't pay?
    Do you not see how silly you sound?
    I don't catch public transport so I can't comment on how well it works or doesn't work but it seem to me that if you are going to drink on the platform then you deserve to be booked. Only the drunk or troublemakers drink on a platform.

    Do you think that a cop would overlook this? Maybe people would accept being fined by a cop because there would be no excuse then.
    The first time these complainers needed some protection from a drunk or a bully at the station they would be screaming for a PSO.

    Peggy Sunday 9 December, 2012 - 9:32 AM
  • @Vicki ;You sound like one of the whinging fare avaders I hope they grab you, at least the stations are safer now more so than when Brumby and co were in government>!

    Steve Saturday 8 December, 2012 - 3:11 AM

Post a comment * Mandatory fields