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Rail workers welcome ‘guardian services’ comeback

Mar 16, 2015News

The reintroduction of late night ‘guardian services’ on trains would provide a much needed safety boost and peace of mind for commuters and rail workers.

The NSW ALP today announced that if elected it will reintroduce guardian services which would include extra security on trains. 

Rail, Tram and Bus Union Secretary Alex Claassens said that despite the Baird Government’s assurances that scrapping Transit Officers and replacing them with police would increase security, that hasn’t been the case.

“Assaults on the trains and on rail workers haven’t decreased at all since the NSW Government cut Transit Officer jobs despite assurances from the Government that they would,” Mr Claassens said.

“Of course having police patrolling the network is fantastic, but replacing a dedicated security team whose sole job was to ensure safety on our transport network with a smaller team of police officers who have a myriad of roles to fill doesn’t make sense. 

“Commuters and workers deserve to know that someone is looking out for their safety when they board a train, especially at night. 

“Safety should be the number one priority of any government, but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case with the current government.

Mr Claassens said he wasn’t convinced about the Transport Minister’s claims that there are enough police dedicated to patrolling the network.

“All our reports indicate that there is less of a security presence on our trains now than there was when Transit Officers patrolled our services.

“The state’s rail network is a big place. You need a dedicated team with enough resources to be able to monitor the whole network.

“Bringing back guardian services is a fantastic idea and one which will be very popular with workers and commuters alike.

“Since the NSW Government cut security on our rail network, the union has been forced to set up a service specifically for workers to report assaults and attacks because things were getting so bad and we weren’t receiving adequate information from the government.

“We’re interested in seeing the specific details in the ALP’s plan, but we’d welcome any plan which would guarantee an increase in safety on our transport network.”