Download details

Justice Legislation Amendment (Protective Services Officers) Bill 2011

Introduction

The Justice Legislation Amendment (Protective Services Officers) Bill was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 28 June 2011 by the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, the Hon. Peter Ryan.

The purpose of the Bill as stated by the Minister, ‘is to provide Protective Services Officers (PSOs) who are on duty at designated places with appropriate powers in order for those officers to be effective in combating crime and antisocial behaviour occurring in those public places’. [footnote 1]

The Bill amends the Police Regulation Act 1958; the Bail Act 1977; the Control of Weapons Act 1990; the Crimes Act 1958 ; the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981; the Environment Protection Act 1970; the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007 ; the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998; the Magistrates’ Court Act 1989; the Mental Health Act 1986; the Road Safety Act 1986; the Summary Offences Act 1966; and the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983, to provide PSOs with the appropriate powers.

1. Second Reading Speech

The Minister for Police and Emergency Services commenced his second reading speech by stating that the government had a mandate to introduce PSOs on the rail network to protect the community, particularly those travelling at night, against violence and other anti-social behaviour. [footnote 2] He iterated the government’s commitment to deploy 940 PSOs on the rail network by the end of its first term, to be deployed on stations from 6.00 pm until last train 7 days a week, 365 days a year. He stated further, that deployment of the PSOs will be determined ‘on a priority basis’, by the incidence of crime and public disorder.

The Minister explained that the PSOs new powers have been carefully selected to support their community safety role on the rail network and that the execution of these powers is deliberately constrained to their duties, at or in the vicinity of places designated in the Police Regulations 2003. The Minister expressly contrasted this with members of the police force, who may exercise their powers 24 hours a day.

He informed the House that PSOs currently receive the same level of training in the use of tactical equipment, such as firearms, as police, with refresher training every six months, and that training for these PSOs would be extended from 9 weeks to 12 weeks, ‘to include instruction on the exercise of these new powers’.[footnote 3]

He also noted that PSOs will be subject to the same complaint and disciplinary system as applies to members of the police force. [footnote 4] Mr Ryan stated further, that the Bill extends to all PSOs, not just those PSOs on duty at railway stations, the power to arrest an offender who is wanted on a warrant issued by a court. He completed his second reading speech by stating that the Bill implements a key government commitment to enhance community safety. [footnote 5]

2. Background

Protective Services Officers are a part of the Protective Services Division of Victoria Police. They are Victoria Police’s ‘specialist provider of security services’.[footnote 6]

PSOs have existed in Victoria since 1987 when the Cain Labor Government’s Police Regulation (Protective Services) Act 1987 came into operation. The then Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mr Mathews, said that a review of security arrangements for senior public office holders (such as the Governor, Ministers and the judiciary) had found there was a need for a group of persons, under the command and control of the Chief Commissioner of Police, to provide protective services.[footnote 7]

Mr Mathews commented that the establishment of PSOs would release fully-trained police to other areas of service whilst also ensuring that the level of security required by senior public office holders would be maintained.[footnote 8]

The first Victorian Protective Services Officers (PSOs) graduated from the Police Academy on 29 April 1988. From 1 May 1988, the Shrine of Remembrance Security Group was incorporated into the Protective Services Group.[footnote 9]

According to a recent article in the Police Association Victoria Journal, there are currently 138 PSOs in Victoria deployed across the following sites: the law courts in Melbourne as well as six metropolitan areas; the Victoria Police Centre; St Kilda Road Police Complex; Parliament House; Treasury; the Shrine of Remembrance; and 121 Exhibition Street (Department of Justice). [footnote 10]

Prior to the 2010 state election, the Coalition stated that it would, if elected, deploy PSOs at every metropolitan train station and major regional train stations (including those located in Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Traralgon) after 6pm until last train, 7 days per week. [footnote 11]

In March 2011, the Coalition Government’s Police Regulation Amendment (Protective Services Officers) Act 2011 was passed by the Parliament. Prior to this amending Act, PSOs could only be appointed for the purposes of ‘providing services for the protection of persons holding certain official or public offices and of certain places of public importance’. The amending Act added that PSOs could be appointed for the purposes of protecting ‘the general public in certain places’. The amending Act also repealed the statutory requirement that the number of PSOs must not at any time exceed 150.

As mentioned earlier, recruits currently undertake nine weeks training at the Victoria Police Academy. The Minister announced Victoria Police is proposing to extend the training for PSOs deployed at railway stations to 12 weeks. He stated that this extended period would include ‘on the job’ training at inner city rail stations.[footnote 12]

Current Powers and Privileges of Protective Services Officers

PSOs currently have powers at both statute and common law.[footnote 13] PSOs’ statutory powers are derived from a number of different Acts, including some that are location-specific. For example, the powers granted to PSOs under the Parliamentary Precincts Act relate only to PSOs deployed in the Parliamentary Precinct.

All PSOs have an arrest power under section 458 of the Crimes Act 1958 (as does any lay person). [footnote 14] However, unlike police, they do not currently have indictable powers of arrest as outlined in section 459.[footnote 15] In addition, PSOs have powers under the following Acts (this list may not be exhaustive).[footnote 16]

Police Regulation Act 1958

The Police Regulation Act provides for the appointment of PSOs. Under section 118B(2) of this Act, PSOs are not members of the police force except for the purposes of Parts IV (employment, disciplinary and other matters), IVA (complaints and investigations), V (Police Appeals Board) and section 123 (immunity of members).

Section 118D of the Police Regulation Act specifies that a PSO:

has and may exercise, in the execution of his or her duties, the same powers, authorities, advantages and immunities, and is liable to the same duties and responsibilities, as a constable appointed under this Act has and may exercise, or to which such a constable is liable, by virtue of the common law.

Firearms Act 1996

Section 130(2) of the Firearms Act specifies that the offence to carry or use a firearm in certain places does not apply to PSOs when they are acting in the course of their official duties. In a similar vein, section 131(3)(a) provides that the offence to possess, carry or use a firearm on private property without consent does not apply to PSOs while on duty. Under schedule 3 of this Act, PSOs are exempted from the requirement to hold a licence when possessing, carrying or using a firearm for their official duties when authorised to do so by the Chief Commissioner.

Road Safety Act 1986

Under section 77(2)(ab) of the Road Safety Act, a PSO may prosecute for any offence against the Road Safety Act or its regulations, if the offence occurs on land or premises that are, or are in the vicinity of: a place of public importance that the PSO has been directed to protect; or a place containing an official or public office holder, whom the PSO has been directed to protect.

Parliamentary Precincts Act 2001

The Parliamentary Precincts Act provides powers for PSOs deployed in the Parliamentary precincts. PSOs are included in the definition of ‘authorised officer’ under this Act. As such, they have the following powers: to direct a person to leave or not enter the Parliamentary precincts if the PSO believes on reasonable grounds that the direction is necessary for the good order and security of the Parliamentary precincts (s 16); to remove a person (or cause a person to be removed) from the Parliamentary precincts or prevent a person (or cause a person to be prevented) from entering or re-entering the Parliamentary precincts if they fail to comply with a direction under s 16 or have committed or have attempted to commit an offence under this Act or any other Act (s 19); to require a person to give their name and address if the person refuses to leave the Parliamentary precincts after being directed to do so (s 20); to, without warrant, arrest a person if they refuse to leave the Parliamentary precincts or enter/re-enter the precincts contrary to a direction (s 21); and to prosecute for an offence against the Parliamentary Precincts Act (s 26).

Court Security Act 1980

The Court Security Act provides powers for PSOs deployed on court premises. PSOs are included in the definition of ‘authorised person’ in this Act. As such, they have the following powers: to demand from a person on court premises, their name and address, reason for being on the premises and evidence of identity (s 3(1)); to require a person who wishes to enter court premises or is on court premises to submit to a frisk search and a scan search and to surrender any item the PSO believes is a prohibited item (s 3(3)); to stop a person from entering court premises or remove the person by reasonable force if they do not comply with sections 3(1) or 3(3) (s 3(5)); to seize and retain prohibited items found during a search (s 3(6)); to remove or refuse entry to a person if the PSO believes on reasonable grounds that the person is likely to affect adversely the security, good order or management of the court premises (s 3(9)).

Current Security Measures on Victoria’s Railways

There are a range of measures currently in place to increase passenger safety at Victoria’s railway stations. These measures include Transit Police, authorised officers and the provision of private security services.

Victoria Police’s Transit Safety Division provides a police presence on the public transport system (predominantly in the Melbourne metropolitan area).[footnote 17] Services provided by the Transit Police include: uniformed patrols on the suburban rail system; plain clothes police who target identified problem areas; the investigation of all crimes

against the person, property crimes, illegal drug activity, theft from ticket machines and anti-social behaviour on the public transport system; and the provision of advice on crime prevention and the perception of safety on the public transport system. [footnote 18] The Coalition’s election policy of increasing the number of transit police by 100, brings the total number of transit police to 350.[footnote 19]

Authorised officers (also known as ‘ticket inspectors’) are employed by transport operators (e.g. Metro Trains and Yarra Trams) to ensure passengers comply with ticketing and behavioural requirements while travelling on public transport. [footnote 20] In order to fulfil the requirements of their role, authorised officers must be ‘authorised’ by the Secretary of the Department of Transport.[footnote 21] The powers of authorised officers are outlined in the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983. According to the Victoria Police website, there are 525 public transport authorised officers in Victoria.[footnote 22]

Wilson Security also provide private security services at Southern Cross Railway Station in Melbourne as well as at some V-Line stations. [footnote 23]

3. Crime at Public Transport Locations: Victoria Police Crime Statistics

Victoria Police categorise criminal offences into four major categories of crime: crimes against the person; crimes against property; drug offences; and, other crime. Table 1 below shows data for the major offence categories, for recorded offences at public transport locations, for the year 2009/10, and the percentage change from 2008/09 to 2009/10.

Table 1: Major categories of crime – recorded offences at public transport

locations 2009/10 by number and percentage change

Offence

Recorded Offences 2009/10

Percentage Change 2008/09 to 2009/10

Crimes against the person

1,808

3.4

Crimes against property

5,349

-10.8

Drug offences

346

-2.5

Other crime

1,295

-6.5

Total

8,798

-7.3

Source: Victoria Police (2010) Crime Statistics[footnote 24]

Table 1 shows that there was an overall drop in crime at public transport locations between 2008/09 and 2009/10 of 7.3 per cent. However, in the category of crimes against the person, which includes the offences of assault and robbery, there was a rise in this period of 3.4 per cent. Table 2 below shows recorded offences for offence types within the major crime category of crime against the person, at public transport locations for the period 2009/10.

Table 2: Crime against the person - recorded offences at public transport

locations in 2009/10 by number and percentage change

Offence

Recorded Offences 2009/10

Percentage Change 2008/09 to 2009/10

Homicide

1

n.a.

Rape

10

-33.3

Sex (non rape)

182

-14.2

Robbery

335

-4.3

Assault

1,264

8.7

Abduction/Kidnap

16

100

Total

1,808

3.4

Source: Victoria Police (2010) Crime Statistics[footnote 25]

As Table 2 shows, while there were decreases in the number of certain offences over the period, in the offence type of assault there was an increase of 8.7 per cent. The number of assaults recorded at public transport locations has been rising.

According to Victoria Police crime statistics, in 2005/06 there was a total of 887 assault offences recorded at public transport locations. The following year, 2006/07, this figure had risen to 1,038 recorded offences. In 2007/08 the number had reached 1,231 recorded offences. The number dropped in 2008/09, to 1,163, before rising again in 2009/10 to 1,264.[footnote 26]

On the basis of this data, the rise in recorded assault offences at public transport locations between 2005/06 and 2009/10 was over 42 per cent.

Victoria Police also calculate rates of criminal offences per 100,000 of population. The following table shows rates of crime per 100,000 population for each of the major crime categories, for offences recorded at public transport locations for 2009/10.

Table 3 : Major categories of crime – recorded offences at public transport

locations as a rate per 100,000 population in 2009/10

Offence

Rate per 100,000 population 2009/10

Crimes against the person

32.9

Crimes against property

97.3

Drug offences

6.3

Other crime

23.6

Total

160.1

Source: Victoria Police (2010) Crime Statistics [footnote 27]

According to Victoria Police data, this overall rate of 160.1 offences per 100,000 population, at public transport locations, represents a drop in the rate of 9.2 per cent, in comparison with the rate for 2008/09. However, the same data shows that the rate for crimes against the person rose by 1.3 per cent over the same period.[footnote 28] Table 4 below shows rates of crime per 100,000 population for offence types within the major crime category of crimes against the person, for offences recorded at public transport locations for 2009/10.

Table 4: Crime against the person – recorded offences at public transport

locations as a rate per 100,000 population in 2009/10

Offence

Recorded offences as a rate per 100,000 population

2009/10

Homicide

0

Rape

0.2

Sex (non rape)

3.3

Robbery

6.1

Assault

23.0

Abduction/Kidnap

0.3

Total

32.9

Source: Victoria Police (2010) Crime Statistics [footnote 29]

According to Victoria Police data, the overall rate of 32.9 offences per 100,000 population, at public transport locations, represented a rise in the rate of 1.3 per cent, in comparison with the rate for 2008/09. The same data shows that the rate for the offence type of assault rose by 6.4 per cent over the same period.[footnote 30] The offence type of robbery, however, dropped by 6.3 per cent. [footnote 31]

4. Main Provisions of the Bill

Part 1 Preliminary

Purpose

Clause 1 of the Bill states that the main purpose of the proposed Act is—

(a) to amend the Police Regulation Act 1958 to—

(i) provide protective services officers who are on duty at certain public places (designated places) with additional powers in order for those officers to be effective in combating crime and anti-social behaviour occurring at those public places; and

(ii) extend the provisions in Division 2 of Part VA (Offences) to protective services officers; and

(b) to amend the following Acts to extend certain powers currently exercisable by members

of the police force under those Acts to protective services officers who are on duty at

designated places—

(i) the Bail Act 1977;

(ii) the Control of Weapons Act 1990;

(iii) the Crimes Act 1958;

(iv) the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981;

(v) the Environment Protection Act 1970;

(vi) the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007;

(vii) the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998;

(viii) the Magistrates' Court Act 1989;

(ix) the Mental Health Act 1986;

(x) the Road Safety Act 1986;

(xi) the Summary Offences Act 1966;

(xii) the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983.

Commencement

Clause 2 of the Bill provides that the proposed Act will come into operation on a day or days to be proclaimed, but that if a provision of the Act does not come into operation by 1 July 2012, it comes into operation on that day.

Part 2 —Amendment of Police Regulation Act 1958

Clauses under Part 2 deal with the appointment of protective services officers, their powers and privileges and regulations.

Clause 3 amends the Police Regulation Act 1958 to extend to protective services officers certain offences under Division 2 of Part VA, namely, bribery and corruption, penalties for not delivering accoutrements, penalties for personating members of the force, and penalties on persons wrongly obtaining admission into the force.

Clause 4 extends the powers and responsibilities under s 118D to protective services officers on duty at a designated place to exercise the powers and all the responsibilities imposed under the Police Regulation Act 1958 or any other Act. Designated place is defined as a place prescribed by the regulations.

Clause 5 inserts the regulation making power (after section 130(1)(h)), to prescribe a place to be a designated place for the purposes of section 118D.

Part 3 —Amendment of Bail Act 1977

Clause 6 under Part 3 amends section 24 of the Bail Act 1977 which deals with the arrest of a person released on bail. Clauses 6(1) and 6(2) extend the powers of protective services officers on duty at a designated place to arrest a person released on bail if they believe on reasonable grounds that the person is likely to break their bail conditions, or if they are notified in writing by any surety for the person that the person is likely to break their bail conditions or if they have reasonable grounds for believing that the surety is dead or is no longer sufficient.

Clause 6(3) requires protective services officers to hand a person arrested under the previous section into the custody of a member of the police force as soon as practicable.

Clause 6(5) inserts a new section 24(6) into the Bail Act which sets out new definitions for ‘designated place’ and ‘protective services officer’ into the legislation.

Part 4 —Amendment of Control of Weapons Act 1990

Clauses under Part 4 make changes to the definitions of the Control of Weapons Act to include ‘protective services officer’ and ‘designated place’. This is to enable protective services officers on duty at a designated place, the powers to require production of approval and to seize controlled weapons if an infringement notice is served as well as search, detain and seizure powers. There are also provisions requiring a protective services officer to make records concerning searches conducted without warrant and to issue infringement notices.

Clause 8 provides that a protective services officer on duty at a designated place has the power to require a person to produce an approval (issued by the Chief Commissioner of Police under s 8C), if he or she has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person has committed an offence against section 5 (prohibited weapons) or is carrying or has in his or her possession a prohibited weapon. A protective services officer must produce his or her identification for inspection by the person.

Clause 9 extends to a protective services officer the forfeiture provisions (s 9A) of the Control of Weapons Act 1990, where an infringement notice has been served by a protective services officer.

Clause 10 inserts a new s 10AA into the Control of Weapons Act 1990, which gives a protective services officer on duty at a designated place the power to search without a warrant, where the protective services officer has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person at or in the vicinity of a designated place is carrying, or has in his or her possession in a public place a weapon contrary to the Control of Weapons Act 1990.

It includes provisions for searching the person and any vehicle or thing in the person’s possession; seize and detain provisions; requirements for the protective services officer to produce identification, and inform the person that he or she intends to search the person or thing for weapons; and the conduct of searches: that the search be the least invasive search that is practicable in the circumstances and that the person being searched is detained for so long as is reasonably necessary to conduct the search.

Clause 13 extends the powers of a protective services officer to serve an infringement notice on any person who he or she has reason to believe has committed an offence against section 6(1) (a person must not possess, carry or use a controlled weapon without lawful excuse), at or in the vicinity of a designated place.

Part 5 —Amendment of Crimes Act 1958

Clauses under Part 5 amend the Crimes Act 1958 to extend certain offences such as making threats to prevent arrest, assaulting, threatening to assault, resisting or intentionally obstructing a member of the police force acting in the course of his or her duty, to protective services officers. Accordingly clause 14 inserts a definition of protective services officer in the Crimes Act 1958.

Clause 17 extends the powers of members of the police force to apprehend offenders under s 459 of the Crimes Act 1958, to a protective services officer on duty at a designated place. Specifically, this gives a protective services officer on duty at a designated place (in addition to those powers conferred by section 458), the power to, without warrant, apprehend any person he or she believes on reasonable grounds has committed an indictable offence in Victoria (including indictable offences which may be heard and determined summarily); or he or she believes on reasonable grounds has committed an offence elsewhere which if committed in Victoria would be an indictable offence (including any indictable offence which may be heard and determined summarily).

Clause 17(3) inserts a subsection into s 459 that requires a protective services officer to hand a person arrested under the section to a member of the police force as soon as practicable after the arrest. It also inserts a subsection which provides that a designated place has the same meaning as it has in section 118D of the Police Regulation Act 1958.

Part 6 —Amendment of Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981

Clauses under Part 6 amend the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 in order to extend to protective services officers certain powers and responsibilities given to or imposed on members of the police force relating to search, seizure and detention powers applying to volatile substances. Accordingly, clause 18 inserts a definition of protective services officer into the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (under s 4(1)).

Clause 19 amends s 60B of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act to provide that in the exercise of any powers under the Division in relation to a person under 18 years of age, a protective services officer must take into account the best interests of the person.

Clause 20 inserts a new section 60BA into the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 to extend to a protective services officer on duty at a designated place the same powers and responsibilities given to a member of the police force under this Division which deals with volatile substances (other than section 60M(4) and (5).[footnote 32]

Clause 20(3) states that a protective services officer may only exercise the powers under this Division in relation to a person who is at, or in the vicinity of, a designated place.

Clause 20(4) states that if a protective services officer has detained a person under 18 years of age under section 60L (which deals with the apprehension and detention of a person under 18 years of age who is inhaling a volatile substance or has recently inhaled a volatile substance and is likely to cause immediate serious bodily harm to himself or herself or to some other person), and after taking all reasonable steps, has been unable to release the person into the care of a suitable person in accordance with section 60M(3) (which deals with how long a person may be detained and where), then subsection 5 applies.

Accordingly clause 20(5) states that the protective services officer may release the detained person, or subject to section 60M(2) (where a person under 18 years of age who has been apprehended and detained may only be detained for as long as the protective services officer has reasonable grounds for believing that the person has recently inhaled a volatile substance and is likely to cause immediate serious bodily harm to himself or herself or to some other person), may continue to detain the person until the person can be handed into the custody of a member of the police force.

Clause 20(6) provides that in taking an action under the previous subsection (5), a protective services officer must take the action which he or she reasonably believes is the most appropriate in the circumstances.

Clause 20(7) states that in this section designated place has the same meaning as it has in section 118D of the Police Regulation Act 1958.

Part 7 —Amendment of Environment Protection Act 1970

Part 7 deals with amendments to the Environment Protection Act 1970 to extend powers of litter enforcement to protective services officers on duty at a designated place, or the vicinity of such a place.

Part 8 —Amendment of Graffiti Prevention Act 2007

Clauses under Part 8 amend the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007 to extend the graffiti search and fining powers of members of the police force to protective services officers on duty at a designated place. There is also a provision requiring a protective services officer to make a record concerning searches conducted without warrant.

Clause 22 inserts a definition of protective services officer and designated place in section 3 of the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007.

Clause 23 extends to protective services officers the same obligations as members of the police force to deal with a person under 18 years of age in accordance with Division 2 of Part IV of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 when the person is in possession of a prescribed graffiti implement without lawful exercise (ie. to protect the health and welfare of persons under 18 years of age).

Clause 24 inserts s 11(1A) into the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007 which provides that a protective services officer may serve an infringement notice on a person who the officer has reason to believe possesses a prescribed graffiti implement, at or in the vicinity of a designated place.

Clauses 25 to 28 extend to protective services officers on duty at a designated place the same powers and obligations as members of the police force when conducting a search without warrant, when conducting a search of a person who appears to be 14 years or more of age and under 18 years of age, and in relation to making records concerning searches.

Clause 26 deals with the searching of persons under 18 years of age.[footnote 33] A search of a person who is or appears to be between 14 and 18 years of age involves the protective services officer or member of the police force running their hands over the person’s outer clothing; requesting that the person remove their outer clothing and gloves, shoes and headgear so that the officer or member can run their hands over the person’s clothing that was immediately beneath the outer clothing; or searching the person’s outer clothing, gloves, shoes and headgear.

Clause 27 sets out the conduct of searches, which must afford reasonable privacy to the person being searched and be as quick as is reasonably practicable.

Part 9 —Amendment of Liquor Control Reform Act 1998

Clauses under Part 9 amend the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 to extend the powers of members of the police force to demand proof of age, seizure of evidence of age, seizure of liquor from minors, and serving of infringement notices, to protective services officers on duty at a designated place. Accordingly clause 29 inserts a definition of protective services officer and designated place in section 3(1) of the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998.

Clause 30(1) provides that protective services officers on duty at a designated place, are empowered to demand of a person at or in the vicinity of a designated place, who appears to be under the age of 18 years and who has consumed, is consuming or is about to consume liquor in contravention of this Act, particulars of the person’s age, name and address. Clause 30(2) extends the powers of a member of the police force to caution a person who refuses to give their particulars, and where there is persistent refusal, to arrest that person without a warrant, to a protective services officer. While clause 30(3) states that a protective services officer who has arrested a person under the aforementioned provisions, must hand the person into the custody of a member of the police force as soon as practicable after the person is arrested.

Clause 31 extends the power of a member of the police force to a protective services officer on duty at a designated place, to seize evidence of age (except a driver licence) where the protective services officer reasonably believes that the document does not belong to the person who produced it, the document contains false or misleading information, the document is a forgery or fraudulently altered, or the document is being used in contravention of the Act.

Clause 32 extends the power of a member of the police force to a protective services officer on duty at a designated place, to seize liquor from minors.

Clause 33 extends the power of a member of the police force to a protective services officer on duty at a designated place, to serve an infringement notice, where the protective services officer has reason to believe that a minor possesses or is consuming liquor, at or in the vicinity of a designated place.

Part 10 —Amendment of Magistrates’ Court Act 1989

Clauses under Part 10 amend the Magistrates’ Court Act 1989 to extend the powers of members of the police force to execute a warrant to arrest, and to arrest a person against whom a warrant to arrest is issued although the execution copy of the warrant is not at the time in the member’s possession, to a protective services officer.

If a protective services officer executes a warrant to arrest, he or she is required to hand the person they arrest into the hands of a member of the police force as soon as practicable after the person is arrested.

Clause 36 provides a protective services officer on duty at a designated place the power to arrest a person against whom a warrant to arrest is issued although the execution copy of the warrant is not at the time in the officer’s possession. The protective services officer is required to hand any person they arrest under this section, into the hands of a member of the police force as soon as practicable after the person is arrested.

The Bill inserts definitions of protective services officer and designated place in section 3(1) of the Magistrates’ Court Act 1989.

Part 11 —Amendment of Mental Health Act 1986

Clauses under Part 11 amend the Mental Health Act 1986 to extend the powers of members of the police force to apprehend a mentally ill person in certain circumstances, to a protective services officer on duty at a designated place. Accordingly, clause 37 inserts a definition of protective services officer and designated place in section 3(1) of the Mental Health Act 1986.

Clause 38 empowers a protective services officer on duty at a designated place to apprehend a person who appears to be mentally ill, if the protective services officer has reasonable grounds for believing that the person has recently attempted suicide or attempted to cause serious bodily harm to herself or himself or to some other person or the person is likely by act or neglect to attempt suicide or to cause serious bodily harm to herself or himself or to some other person.

Clause 38(3) provides that a protective services officer may use such force as may be reasonably necessary when apprehending a person under the aforementioned provision. Clause 38(4) requires a protective services officer to hand over an apprehended person to the custody of a member of the police force or a mental health practitioner as soon as practicable.

Part 12—Amendment of Road Safety Act 1986

Clause 39 inserts a definition of protective services officer and designated place in section 3(1) of the Road Safety Act 1986.

Clause 40 under Part 12 amends the Road Safety Act 1986 to extend to the driver or the person in charge of a motor vehicle in or being driven into or from a railway or council controlled car park on or in the vicinity of a designated place certain duties to follow any lawful direction given to him or her by a protective services officer. Additional provisions deal with failure to comply with a requirement or instruction by a protective services officer and defences under section 59(4).

Clause 40(6) inserts a new subsection 59(5A) into the Road Safety Act 1986, which extends to a protective services officer the power to give a person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle that is in, or being driven from or into, a railway car park or municipal council controlled car park at or in the vicinity of a designated place reasonable directions.

Clauses 41 to 46 extend to a protective services officer on duty at a designated place certain road safety provisions relating to powers to prevent driving by incapable persons, powers to enter a vehicle, powers to prosecute, powers to issue a parking infringement and to enter a council controlled area for the purpose of issuing a parking infringement notice.

Clause 43 extends the offence of driving a motor vehicle when directed to stop by police, to driving a motor vehicle when directed to stop by a protective services officer on duty at a designated place.

Currently under the Road Safety Act 1986 section 77(2)(ab) provides that a protective services officer appointed under Part VIA of the Police Regulation Act 1958, has the power to prosecute under the Road Safety Act 1986, if the offence occurs on land or premises that are, or are in the vicinity of a place of public importance that the officer has been directed to protect; or a place where a person holding an official or public office is present, whom the officer has been directed to protect.

Clause 44(1) of the Bill removes “appointed under Part VIA of the Police Regulation Act 1958” in section 77(2)(ab).

Clause 44(2) of the Bill inserts a new subsection 77(2)(ac) which provides that a protective services officer on duty at a designated place, may prosecute an offence under the Act committed at or in the vicinity of the designated place.

Part 13 —Amendment of Summary Offences Act 1966

Clauses under Part 13 amend the Summary Offences Act 1966 to extend to protective services officers on duty at designated places powers to make directions to move on, powers to arrest a person found drunk or disorderly at or in the vicinity of a designated place, powers to file charge-sheets and to serve infringement notices. Accordingly, clause 47 inserts a definition of protective services officer and designated place in section 3 of the Summary Offences Act 1966.

Clause 50 inserts a new section 15 in the Summary Offences Act 1966 which deals with the arrest of persons found drunk or drunk and disorderly. It extends the current powers of members of the police force to arrest a person found drunk or drunk and disorderly in a public place, to protective services officers on duty at a designated place. Protective services officers who arrest a person under the aforementioned provision must hand the person into the custody of a member of the police force as soon as practicable after the person is arrested. The member of the police force into whose custody is handed a person by a protective services officer must ensure the person is lodged in safe custody.

Clause 51 extends offences of assaulting, resisting, hindering, obstructing or delaying any member of the police force in the execution of his duty, to doing the above to a protective services officer (s 52 (1)). A court may impose a penalty for an offence under the section (52(1)) and award a sum to cover damage sustained by a protective services officer.

Clause 52 extends the offence of making a false report to a member of the police force to include making a false report to a protective services officer (under s 53).

Clause 53 extends to a protective services officer the power to file a charge sheet (under s 56(1)).

Clause 54 extends to a protective services officer the power to serve an infringement notice on any person that he or she believes has committed at or in the vicinity of a designated place an offence against section 6, 13, 14 or 17A; or section 17(1)(c) or 17(1)(d). [footnote 34]

An infringement notice under sections 17(1)(c) or 17(1)(d) must not be served on a person under 18 years of age at the time of the alleged offence.

Part 14—Amendment of Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983

Clauses under Part 14 amend the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983 to extend to protective services officers on duty at a designated place the authority to issue transport and ticket infringement notices, the power to require names and addresses, the power to arrest suspected offenders, and the power to remove offenders (and their property, if any) from any vehicles owned or operated by or on behalf of a passenger transport company or a bus company or any premises or property of a passenger transport company. The Bill inserts definitions for designated place and protective services officer into the legislation.

Clause 56 extends to a protective services officer on duty at a designated place the authority to issue transport and ticket infringement notices, if the offence for a transport infringement or the infringement for a ticket infringement, is believed to have been committed at or in the vicinity of a designated place (s 212(1B)).

Clause 57 extends to a protective services officer on duty at a designated place the power to request the name and address of a person who he or she has reasonable grounds to believe has committed or is about to commit an offence under this Act or the regulations or the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007.

Clause 58 extends to a protective services officer on duty at a designated place the power to arrest a suspected offender if they believe on reasonable grounds that a person has committed an offence against this Act or the regulations or against the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007. The protective services officer may without warrant arrest the person, if he or she believes on reasonable grounds that the arrest is necessary to ensure the appearance of the person before a court of competent jurisdiction, or to preserve public order, or to prevent the continuation or repetition of the offence or the commission of a further offence, or for the safety or welfare of members of the public or the person.

If the arrest is in respect of a summary offence, the person detaining the alleged offender must release the alleged offender as soon as the reason ceases to exist, regardless of whether or not the alleged offender has been charged with the offence (s 219(4)).

If the arrest is not in respect of a summary offence, the protective services officer must hand over the alleged offender into the charge of a member of the police force or an authorised officer as soon as is practicable after the arrest (s 219(5)).

Clause 59 extends to a protective services officer on duty at a designated place the same powers as a member of the police force or an authorised officer to summarily remove a person and the person’s belongings (if any) from any vehicle owned or operated by or on behalf of a passenger transport company or a bus company or, any premises or property of a passenger transport company (s 220(1A)).

A protective services officer may use these powers if he or she believes on reasonable grounds that the person is committing an offence against the Act or the regulations (s 220(1B)(a)) and that the commission of the offence is or is likely to be attended with: danger or annoyance to the public; or hindrance to a member of the police or, a protective services officer or any authorised officer or any employee of, or a person engaged by, a passenger transport company or bus company in lawful use of the vehicle, premises or property (s 220(1B)(c)).

In addition to the power to summarily remove a person in accordance with s 220(1A), a protective services officer may take such other action as is necessary to obviate or remove any danger, annoyance or hindrance of the kind referred to in subsection (1B)(c) described above (s 220(1C)).

In order to remove a person or the property of a person from a vehicle or premises or property or to obviate or remove a danger, annoyance or hindrance, a protective services officer may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances (s 220(2)).

Clause 61 inserts into section 221U of the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983 ‘a protective services officer on duty at a designated place’ under the definition of an authorised person.

Clause 62 inserts ‘a protective services officer who, at the time of the alleged offence, was on duty at a designated place’ into sections 229(1), 229(1A)(a) and 229(1A)(b) to the effect that a protective services officer may bring a proceeding for an offence against this Act or the Regulations.

Part 15—Repeal of Amending Act

Clause 63 repeals the Amending Act on 1 July 2013, but will not affect the continuing operation of amendments made by it.

5. Stakeholder Views

This section of the Research Brief provides an overview of published stakeholder views on the Bill.

The Acting Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Ken Lay, has stated his support for the deployment of PSOs on train stations at night, in order to improve community safety and to help community members to feel safe. He said that ‘people do at times feel unsafe’ and that when ‘you get off a train at 11.00 at night into a dark railway station, with not too many people in the car park, it’s just very reassuring to see that lime green vest and a couple of people there who are tasked with looking after your safety’.[footnote 35]

Some stakeholder views focus on the importance of ensuring that the level of training provided to the PSOs adequately equips them to undertake their duties and use their powers responsibly. Travellers Aid Australia has stated that it ‘support(s) measures to increase safety at railways’ and emphasises ‘the importance of ensuring that those who are tasked with protecting diverse members of the public are flexible, educated and aware’. Travellers Aid Australia goes on to state that ‘As well as being able to safely handle anti-social behaviour, PSOs and all public transport staff need to be versed in handling conflict resolution’.[footnote 36]

The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) has stated that armed PSOs tasked with guarding train stations need to receive specific training about interacting with marginalised and vulnerable groups, including ‘young people, people with mental health issues, people with drug and alcohol issues, Aboriginal Victorians, and culturally and linguistically diverse groups’. VCOSS has stated that ‘Unless PSOs, who will be armed with semi-automatic firearms, capsicum sprays and batons, are provided with extensive and specific training about how to appropriately engage with these groups there is the potential for tragic outcomes’.[footnote 37]

In regard to PSO training and use of powers, Victoria Police Association secretary Greg Davies is quoted in the The Police Association Victoria Journal as stating that ‘throughout their more than two decades of service, PSOs have always demonstrated competent and responsible use of firearms and OC [footnote oleoresin capsicum spray]’, and that ‘What we don’t want to see is the standards dropping’. [footnote 38] Victoria Police have responded to comments regarding PSO training by stating that while current PSO training consists of nine weeks, transit PSOs will receive 12 weeks training. Victoria Police further stated that:

The revised PSO training includes an increased awareness in a number of areas, including conflict resolution and working in a dynamic environment with a high level of unpredictability with respect to vulnerable people such as youth and drug and alcohol affected people. [footnote 39]

Further in regard to PSO powers, there has been some media attention accorded to the Bill’s provision that PSOs will be able to exercise their powers ‘in the vicinity of a designated place’. This media attention has focussed on how ‘in the vicinity’ of a train station will be defined and how it will be interpreted by the courts. Law Institute of Victoria spokesperson James Dowsley has been reported in The Age as saying that without definitions of where PSO powers can be used, suspects arrested outside a train station could challenge their arrest in court as unlawful. Mr Dowsley is quoted as saying that ‘If the arrest is found to be unlawful by a judge or magistrate, then the rest of the case is likely to fall’. [footnote 40] Mr Dowsley is reported in the Herald Sun as saying that arrests by PSOs are ‘likely to be tested in the courts, and the courts ought to have discretion in relation to interpretation of the powers’. [footnote 41]

Some stakeholder comments have stated that security should be focused on stations with high crime rates rather than every station. Trevor Dobbyn, the state secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, has said in the Herald Sun that it is not necessary to have PSOs on all stations after 6pm. He said that money spent on ‘Putting PSOs on stations with no recorded incidents’ would ‘be better spent on improving public transport services for the public’.[footnote 42] The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) stated in the lead up to the 2010 state election that fully-staffed stations and a police presence at ‘hot spot’ stations is preferable to the deployment of PSOs on all stations after 6pm.[footnote 43] Victoria Police Association secretary Greg Davies was reported in The Age as saying that it would be preferable to deploy more transit police to Melbourne’s most violent stations and have fewer PSOs. He said that ‘Some stations won’t have recorded an offence in the past decade’ and emphasised the expense ‘in wages and equipment to patrol them every night’.[footnote 44]

The Coalition has stated that ‘providing blanket coverage of train stations from 6pm’ means that ‘PSOs will be ready to respond to any threat, incident or attack that occurs on any train station from 6pm until last train’.[footnote 45] They further stated that ‘Anyone in the vicinity of a train station will know that if they can get to a train station they will find trained and armed Victoria Police Protective Services Officers with the skills and the powers to keep them safe’.[footnote 46] The Frankston Standard Leader has reported that Frankston Mayor Kris Bolam has written to the Acting Chief Commissioner of Police Ken Lay, to highlight Transport Safety Victoria statistics on assaults at Frankston station, and request that ‘Frankston station be considered as one of the first stations to receive a deployment of PSOs’.[footnote 47]

6. Other Jurisdictions

This section of the Research Brief firstly provides an overview of Commonwealth protective service officers and South Australian protective security officers. Secondly, this section provides an overview of train station security in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. Tasmania and the Territories do not have metropolitan/suburban passenger trains and are not included in this section.

Commonwealth Protective Service Officers

Protective service officers (known as PSOs), have existed at the Commonwealth level since 1979, when the introduction of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979 (the AFP Act) provided for a Protective Service Component of the newly established Australian Federal Police. In the 1980s the Protective Service functions were excised from the AFP Act and the Australian Protective Service was established by the Australian Protective Service Act 1987. In the early 2000s, legislation[footnote 48] was introduced to reintegrate the Australian Protective Service back into the AFP.[footnote 49]

From 2004, protective service officers have again been governed by the AFP Act and form the Australian Federal Police Uniformed Protection service. [footnote 50] They are stationed at a number of locations, including: diplomatic and consular missions, official establishments such as Parliament House, The Lodge, Government House, Kirribilli House and Admiralty House, nominated Australian Defence Force sites and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.[footnote 51] Divisions 3 and 4 of Part II of the AFP Act set out the powers and duties of protective service officers, and include stop, search, seizure and arrest powers. The length of training for protective service officers is 13 weeks. The AFP website states that ‘Training covers PSO powers, applicable law, arrest procedures, high visibility preventative and response procedures and officer safety procedures’. [footnote 52]

South Australian Protective Security Officers

Protective security officers (known as PSOs) have existed in South Australia since 2008 and are governed by the Protective Security Act 2007 (SA). South Australian PSOs are appointed by the Police Commissioner and are part of the Police Security Services Branch of South Australia Police. [footnote 53] SA’s PSOs are tasked with providing for the security of specific public buildings, places, officials and vehicles. They are equipped with firearms, batons and capsicum spray. SA’s PSOs have the authority to give directions, refuse entry or direct a person to leave certain locations, and require a person to provide identification and their reason for being in a certain location. They also have search and seizure powers, and the power to detain a person and deliver them into the custody of a police officer. [footnote 54] SA’s PSOs receive 9 weeks training in operational safety, aspects of the law, communication, and ‘protective measures such as the use of batons, spray, handcuffs and firearms’.[footnote 55] In 2009-10, South Australia had 111 PSOs.[footnote 56]

Train Station Security in New South Wales

New South Wales passenger trains are run by RailCorp, a NSW Government agency administered by the NSW Minister for Transport. [footnote 57] RailCorp’s CityRail provides Sydney’s passenger rail service (which also extends into neighbouring regions).The CityRail trains and stations are patrolled by approximately 600 transit officers, [footnote 58] equipped with hand cuffs and batons.[footnote 59] The transit officer program has been in operation since 2003 and its main function is to ensure the safety of passengers on trains, stations and their surrounds.[footnote 60] The transit officers are authorised by the Rail Safety Act 2008 (NSW) and the Rail Safety (General) Regulation 2008 (NSW). The CityRail website states that transit officers are empowered to:

§ Remove troublemakers from trains and stations

§ Issue penalty notices

§ Require offenders to provide their correct name and address

§ Check passengers' tickets

§ In certain circumstances, arrest offenders and hand them over to the police.[footnote 61]

RailCorp transit officers are not granted power of arrest by specific legislation, unless they are appointed as a ‘special constable’ under the Police (Special Provisions) Act 1901 (NSW), in which case they have the same powers as police. It is a requirement that people employed as transit officers are eligible for special constable appointment.[footnote 62]

Train Station Security in Queensland

Queensland Rail provides Queensland’s passenger rail services and is a government-owned corporation. Queensland Rail states that the Brisbane metropolitan rail network is patrolled by transit officers, private security officers, and the Queensland Police Service Railway Squad.[footnote 63] Queensland Rail transit officers are authorised by the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994 (Qld) and are empowered to issue fines for ticketing and behavioural offences on railway property. There are 110 transit officers employed across the Brisbane network.[footnote 64] Queensland Rail states that the transit officers’ functions include:

§ Crowd control during special events

§ Assisting passengers during planned and unplanned service disruptions

§ Providing a physical presence on the network to enhance safety and security

§ Closely monitoring passenger behaviour

§ Managing fare evasions

§ Working in conjunction with Railway Squad Police.[footnote 65]

Private security guards patrol approximately 40 per cent of Brisbane’s rail services after 6pm from Sunday to Thursday and all rail services after 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Queensland Rail states that their role is to deter crime and inappropriate behaviour on the rail network. [footnote 66]

The Queensland Police Service Railway Squad patrols trains, railway stations and car parks and consists of 54 sworn officers. Queensland Rail states that the Railway Squad works to increase, and increase the perception of, train and station safety through:

§ Uniformed and plain-clothes patrols of stations and onboard trains

§ Responding and investigating incidents on the network

§ Working collaboratively with Queensland Rail, other agencies and the community to develop and enact crime prevention strategies [footnote 67]

Train Station Security in South Australia

Adelaide’s passenger trains are run by the Rail Commissioner within the Public Transport Services Division of the South Australian Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. The Adelaide rail network is patrolled by the Transit Services Branch of South Australia Police, Passenger Service Assistants, and private security guards.

South Australia Police state that the Transit Services Branch provides a policing service to maintain a safe and secure environment for people working and travelling on the Adelaide public transport system.[footnote 68] The Transit Police of the Transit Services Branch are sworn police officers and operate seven days a week between 7am and 1.30am, and at other times subject to operational needs.[footnote 69] They provide ‘highly visible policing’ through an established ‘beat-patrol’ of Adelaide Railway Station and other transit stations and systems.[footnote 70] Their stated role is ‘to detect crime, minimise the occurrence of crime and anti-social behaviour and engage with commuters about any safety or security concerns’. [footnote 71]

Passenger Service Assistants (PSAs) are authorised officers under the Passenger Transport Regulations 2009 (SA). PSAs patrol Adelaide’s metropolitan network and have powers which include, the power to inspect tickets, inspect bags, issue penalty infringement notices and remove offenders from trains and premises. The PSAs work in conjunction with private security guards on the network. [footnote 72]

Private security guards, contracted by the South Australian Government from Wilson Security, are present on all trains departing Adelaide railway station after 7pm.[footnote 73] The security guards do not have legislated powers but are trained in areas such as conflict prevention and response, and security awareness.[footnote 74]

Train Station Security in Western Australia

Perth’s passenger trains are run by the Transperth Train Operations Division of the Public Transport Authority (PTA) of Western Australia. The PTA operates under the Public Transport Authority Act 2003 (the PTA Act) and the Public Transport Authority Regulations 2003. The Perth rail network is patrolled by PTA transit officers, who are assisted by the Police Rail Unit of Western Australia Police.

The PTA states that the key role of the transit officers is ‘to ensure that passengers are safe and secure’ and to ‘provide passengers with assistance and information, and perform regular ticket inspections to keep fare evasion to a minimum’. [footnote 75] A PTA transit officer, as an 'authorised person' under the PTA Act and its Regulations, has the power to issue infringement notices for prescribed offences against the Act, to require the personal details of offenders, eject offenders from trains or stations, and detain and arrest offenders in certain circumstances.[footnote 76] Transit officers undertake a 12 week training course which consists of training in security and self defence techniques (such as the use of force, application of handcuffs, empty hand restraint techniques, use of batons, and capsicum spray) as well as training in legal studies, OHS, customer service and communication.[footnote 77]

Perth’s metropolitan rail lines are also patrolled by the Rail Unit of Western Australia Police. The official magazine of the WA Police states that the Rail Unit has 52 officers and ‘is responsible for frontline response and assistance within the metropolitan railway transport system in partnership with the Public Transport Authority’.[footnote 78] It further states that the Rail Unit is involved in anti-drug and anti-social behaviour operations, and other aspects of proactive and reactive crime prevention. [footnote 79]

References

(2011) ‘Adelaide Cleans Up Public Transport Image with Security Blitz on Danger Trains’, The Advertiser, June 18, news.com.au, viewed 4 August, < http://www.news.com.au/security-blitz-targets-adelaides-danger-trains/story-e6frea83-1226077381044 >.

Australian Federal Police (2010) Australian Federal Police Annual Report 2009-10, Canberra, AFP, viewed 3 August 2011, < http://www.afp.gov.au/media-centre/publications/~/media/afp/pdf/a/afp-annual-report-2009-2010.ashx >.

Australian Federal Police (2011) ‘Protection Information’, AFP website, viewed 3 August 2011, < http://www.afp.gov.au/jobs/current-vacancies/protection/protection-information.aspx >.

CityRail (2011) ‘Careers in Service Delivery’, CityRail website, NSW Government Transport, viewed 4 August 2011, < http://www.railcorp.info/careers/careers_in_service_delivery>.

CityRail (2011) ‘Keeping You Safe and Secure’, CityRail website, NSW Government Transport, viewed 3 August 2011, < http://www.cityrail.info/travelling_with/safety_and_education/safe_and_secure >.

Crook, K. (ed.) (2006) ‘Rail Unit: Making Travel Safer’, Police Newsbeat, iss. 36, p.12, viewed 5 August 2011, < http://www.newsbeat.police.wa.gov.au/issues/archive/Newsbeat_36.pdf >.

Department of Transport (2011) ‘Authorised Officers’, Department of Transport website, viewed 8 August 2011, < http://www.transport.vic.gov.au/doi/internet/transport.nsf/headingpagesdisplay/public+transport+managementauthorised+officers >.

Donaldson, M. (2004) ‘Australian Federal Police and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2003’, Bills Digest, No. 78, 2003-04, Canberra, Australian Parliamentary Library.

Gardiner, A. (2011) ‘Courts to Decide Power of Melbourne’s Train Protective Services Officers’, heraldsun.com.au, 29 July, viewed 9 August, < http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/suburban-assaults-are-on-track-with-city-station/story-e6frf7jo-1226083777292 >.

Gardiner, A. (2011) ‘Flinders St Station Tops Dangerous List’, Herald Sun, June 28, viewed 21 July 2011, < http://www.couriermail.com.au/ipad/suburban-assaults-are-on-track-with-city-station/story-fn6ck4a4-1226082721119 >.

Houston, C. (2011) ‘Are Rail Guards Getting Above their Station?’, theage.com.au, 10 April, viewed 21 July 2011, < http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/are-rail-guards-getting-above-their-station-20110409-1d8ny.html >.

Hurley, D. (2011) ‘Your Say: Demand for Action’, Frankston Standard Leader, 18 July, viewed 21 July 2011, < http://frankston-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/your-say-demand-for-action/ >.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services (2011) Coalition Government Delivers More Transit Police, Media Release, 5 April, viewed 8 August 2011, < http://vic.liberal.org.au/News/MediaReleases/tabid/159/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/2862/Coalition-Government-delivers-more-transit-police.aspx >.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services (2011) New Powers for PSOs to Protect Travelling Public, Media Release, 28 June, viewed 26 July 2011, < http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/1263-new-powers-for-psos-to-protect-travelling-public.html >.

Mitchell, N. (2011) ‘Interview with Ken Lay’, 3AW Mornings, 28 June 2011, 10.08am.

Norberry, J. (2002) ‘Australian Protective Service Amendment Bill 2002’, Bills Digest, No. 152, 2001-02, Canberra, Australian Parliamentary Library.

NSW Ombudsman (2004) NSW Ombudsman Annual Report 2004-05, Sydney, NSW Ombudsman, viewed 4 August 2011, < http://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/publication/PDF/annualreport/Annual_Report_2004_05.pdf >.

Police Association Victoria (2011) ‘Preserving the Good Reputation of our PSOs’, The Police Association Victoria Journal, vol. 77, iss. 5, (May 2011), pp. 12 - 13.

Public Transport Authority (WA) (2011) ‘Transit Officer General Information: Job Description’, Transit Officer Recruitment website, viewed 5 August 2011, <http://www.transitofficer.wa.gov.au/job_description.php>.

Public Transport Authority (WA) (2011) ‘Transit Officer General Information: Training’, Transit Officer Recruitment website, viewed 5 August 2011, <http://www.transitofficer.wa.gov.au/training.php>.

Public Transport Users Association (2010) Call to Staff All Stations, Election 2010 Media Release, 15 August, viewed 21 July 2011, < http://www.ptua.org.au/2010/08/15/call-to-staff-all-stations/>.

Queensland Rail (2011) ‘Security Staff’, Queensland Rail website, viewed 4 August 2011, < http://www.queenslandrail.com.au/RailServices/City/SafetySecurity/Pages/SecurityStaff.aspx >.

RailCorp (2011) ‘Publication Guide: Structure and Function of RailCorp’, RailCorp website, NSW Government Transport, viewed 3 August 2011, < http://www.railcorp.info/contact_us/access_to_information/publication_guide >.

Sarre, R. (2008) ‘The Legal Powers of Private Security Personnel: Some Policy Considerations and Legislative Options’,QUT Law and Justice Journal, vol. 8, no. 2, viewed 8 August 2011, <http://www.law.qut.edu.au/ljj/editions/v8n2/index.jsp>.

Sexton, R. (2011) ‘Station Guards Plan Hits Buffer’, theage.com.au, June 29, viewed 9 August 2011, < http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/station-guards-plan-hits-buffer-20110628-1gp6y.html >.

South Australia Police (2010) South Australia Police Annual Report 2009-10, Adelaide, SAPOL, viewed 5 August 2011, < http://www.sapolice.sa.gov.au/sapol/about_us/publications.jsp>.

South Australia Police (2011) ‘Protective Security Officers – Our History’, SAPOL Protective Security Officers Careers Site, viewed 8 August 2011, <http://www.achievemore.com.au/security/history.html>.

South Australia Police (2011) ‘Protective Security Officers – Why Join Us?’, SAPOL Protective Security Officers Careers Site, viewed 8 August 2011, <http://www.achievemore.com.au/security/why-join-us.html>.

South Australia Police (2011) ‘Transit Services Branch’, South Australia Police website, viewed 5 August 2011, < http://www.sapolice.sa.gov.au/sapol/about_us/structure/operations_support_service/transit_services_branch.jsp >.

Transperth (2011) ‘Transit Officer’s Powers’, Transperth website, viewed 8 August 2011, < http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/TicketsandFares/Infringements/TransitOfficerspowers.aspx >.

Travellers Aid Australia (2011) ‘Protective Service Officers – The Importance of Awareness’, Travellers Aid Australia Update - July 2011, Melbourne, TAA, viewed 20 July 2011, < http://www.travellersaid.org.au/travellers-aid-australia-update-july-2011 >.

Victoria Ombudsman (2010) Investigation into the Issuing of Infringement Notices to Public Transport Users and Related Matters, Melbourne, Victorian Government Printer, viewed 8 August 2011, < http://www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au/www/html/280-parliamentary-reports-2010.asp >.

Victoria Police (date unknown) Your Travel Safety Guide, Victoria Police, viewed 11 August 2011, < http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=267>.

Victoria Police (2010) About the Protective Services Division, Information Leaflet, viewed 26 July 2011, < http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=123>.

Victoria Police (1989) Annual Report and Summary Statement of Accounts of the Victoria Police for the Year Ended 30 June 1988, Melbourne, Jean Gordon Government Printer.

Victoria Police (2010) Crime Statistics 2009/2010, Docklands, Victoria Police Corporate Statistics.

Victoria Police (2011) ‘Our Say: Protective Services Officers’, Victoria Police News, 19 July, Victoria Police Website, viewed 27 July 2011, < http://www.vicpolicenews.com.au/our-say/7415-our-say-protective-services-officers.html >.

Victoria Police (2011) ‘Transit Safety Division’, Victoria Police website, viewed 8 August 2011, < http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?document_id=267>.

Victorian Council of Social Services (2011) Poorly Trained PSOs Could be a Recipe for Disaster, Media Release, 28 June 2011, viewed 20 July 2011, <http://www.vcoss.org.au/media/mediarelease.php?id=128>.

Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition (2009) Stopping Crime in its Tracks with New Transport Security Force, Media Release, 8 November 2009, viewed 27 July 2011, <http://www.vicnats.com/policies/>.

Wilson Security (2011) ‘Case Study – Southern Cross Station’, Wilson Security website, viewed 8 August 2011, < http://www.wilsonsecurity.com.au/index.cfm?objectid=02738DC7-C29E-198E-85D408BD051E5A3E >.


© 2011 Library, Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliament of Victoria

Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Department of Parliamentary Services, other than by Members of the Victorian Parliament in the course of their official duties.

Research Service

This paper has been prepared by the Research Service for use by Members of the Victorian Parliament. The Service prepares briefings and publications for Parliament in response to Members, and in anticipation of their requirements, undertaking research in areas of contemporary concern to the Victorian legislature. While it is intended that all information provided is accurate, it does not represent professional legal opinion.

Research publications present current information as at the time of printing. They should not be considered as complete guides to the particular subject or legislation covered. The views expressed are those of the author(s).

Authors

Bella Lesman (Lead author), Dr Catriona Ross, Bronwen Merner, Dr Greg Gardiner and Adam Delacorn

Research Officers

Victorian Parliamentary Library

Acknowledgement

The authors would like to thank their research colleague, Rachel Macreadie for her research assistance on the other jurisdictions section of this paper.

Enquiries

Enquiries should be addressed to:

Dr. Greg Gardiner

Senior Research Officer

Victorian Parliamentary Library

Parliament House

Spring Street, Melbourne

Telephone (03) 8682 2785

Facsimile (03) 9654 1339

 



[footnote 1] Victoria, Legislative Assembly (2011) Debates, 29 June, Book 10, p. 2376.

[footnote 2] ibid.

[footnote 3] ibid.

[footnote 4] ibid.

[footnote 5] ibid.

[footnote 6] Victoria Police (2010) ‘About the Protective Services Division’, Information Leaflet, viewed 26 July 2011, < http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=123>.

[footnote 7] Victoria, Legislative Assembly (1987) Debates, vol. 387, p. 1174. According to The Police Association of Victoria Journal, PSOs were established due to the need for a specialist security unit in the aftermath of the 1986 Russell Street bombing. The Police Association Victoria (2011) ‘Preserving The Good Reputation of our PSOs’, TPAV Journal, vol. 77, iss. 5, p. 12.

[footnote 8] Victoria, Legislative Assembly (1987) op. cit., p. 1174.

[footnote 9] Victoria Police (1989) Annual Report and Summary Statement of Accounts of the Victoria Police for the Year Ended 30 June 1988, Melbourne, Jean Gordon Government Printer, p. 29.

[footnote 10] The Police Association Victoria (2011) op. cit., p. 12.

[footnote 11] Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition (2009) Stopping Crime in its Tracks with New Transport Security Force, Media Release, 8 November 2009, viewed 27 July 2011, <http://www.vicnats.com/policies/>.

[footnote 12] Minister for Police and Emergency Services (2011) New Powers for PSOs to Protect Travelling Public, Media Release, 28 June, viewed 26 July 2011, < http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/1263-new-powers-for-psos-to-protect-travelling-public.html >.

[footnote 13] As a description of PSOs’ common law powers requires legal advice, they will not be discussed as part of this Brief.

[footnote 14] The Police Association Victoria (2011) op. cit., p. 13.

[footnote 16] The Research Service reviewed the Shrine of Remembrance Act 1978, the Conservation, Forests and Lands Act 1987 and the Lands Act 1958 and could not find any direct references to PSOs. PSOs are also referred to in other Acts however these mentions do not appear to give specific powers to PSOs. These Acts are: Sentencing Act 1991 (ss 83D and 87C); Control of Weapons Act 1990 (s 3);Private Security Act 2004 (ss 4 and 171); Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (ss 490 and 530);Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 (s 3(1) and 3(4)); Fair Work (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2009 (s 3(1) and Schedule);Emergency Services Superannuation Act 1986 (s 3(1), 4(7A), 4(7B), 4(7C), 4AA, 20(1)(ae), 20(1)(af), 20B(4)(ba), 20E(9), 20F(22)); Coroners Act 2008 (s 3(1)); and the Police Integrity Act 2008 (s 3(1)).

[footnote 17] Victoria Police (2011) ‘Transit Safety Division’, Victoria Police website, viewed 8 August 2011, < http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?document_id=267>.

[footnote 19] Minister for Police and Emergency Services (2011) Coalition Government Delivers More Transit Police, Media Release, 5 April, viewed 8 August 2011, < http://vic.liberal.org.au/News/MediaReleases/tabid/159/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/2862/Coalition-Government-delivers-more-transit-police.aspx >.

[footnote 20] Department of Transport (2011) ‘Authorised Officers’, Department of Transport website, viewed 8 August 2011, < http://www.transport.vic.gov.au/doi/internet/transport.nsf/headingpagesdisplay/public+transport+managementauthorised+officers >.

[footnote 21] Victoria Ombudsman (2010) Investigation into the Issuing of Infringement Notices to Public Transport Users and Related Matters, Melbourne, Victorian Government Printer, p. 13, viewed 8 August 2011, < http://www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au/www/html/280-parliamentary-reports-2010.asp >.

[footnote 22] Victoria Police (date unknown) Your Travel Safety Guide, Victoria Police, viewed 11 August 2011, < http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=267>.

[footnote 23] Wilson Security, personal communication with Bronwen Merner (Research Officer, Victorian Parliamentary Library), 8 August 2011. See also: Wilson Security (2011) ‘Case Study – Southern Cross Station’, Wilson Security website, viewed 8 August 2011, < http://www.wilsonsecurity.com.au/index.cfm?objectid=02738DC7-C29E-198E-85D408BD051E5A3E >.

[footnote 24] Victoria Police (2010) Crime Statistics 2009/2010, Docklands, Victoria Police Corporate Statistics, p. 13.

[footnote 26] ibid., p. 25.

[footnote 27] ibid., p. 14.

[footnote 31] For other reports that analyse crime data at transport locations, see Victorian Auditor-General (2010) Personal Safety and Security on the Metropolitan Train System, Melbourne, Victorian Government Printer; and, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee (2010) Inquiry into Strategies to Reduce Assaults in Public Places in Victoria, Melbourne, the Committee, August, viewed 9 August 2011, < http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/dcpc/assaults/Final_assault_report.pdf >.

[footnote 32] Section 60M(4) and (5) relates to how a member of the police force takes the most appropriate action in the circumstances to either release or detain a person under 18 years of age after they have been unable to release the detained person into the care of a suitable person.

[footnote 33] A person who is or appears to be under 14 years of age must not be searched under the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007, (s 14(1)).

[footnote 34] Section 6 deals with persons who are in a public place and are directed to move on.

Section 13 deals with persons who are found drunk in a public place.

Section 14 deals with persons who are drunk and disorderly in a public place.

Section 17A deals with disorderly behaviour by a person in a public place.

Section 17(1)(c) deals with persons using profane indecent or obscene language or threatening abusive or insulting words.

Section 17(1)(d) deals with persons who behave in a riotous, indecent, offensive or insulting manner.

[footnote 35] N. Mitchell (2011) ‘Interview with Ken Lay’, 3AW Mornings, 28 June 2011, 10.08am.

[footnote 36] Travellers Aid Australia (2011) ‘Protective Service Officers – The Importance of Awareness’, Travellers Aid Australia Update - July 2011, Melbourne, TAA, viewed 20 July 2011, < http://www.travellersaid.org.au/travellers-aid-australia-update-july-2011 >.

[footnote 37] Victorian Council of Social Services (2011) Poorly Trained PSOs Could be a Recipe for Disaster, Media Release, 28 June 2011, viewed 20 July 2011, <http://www.vcoss.org.au/media/mediarelease.php?id=128>.

[footnote 38] Police Association Victoria (2011) ‘Preserving The Good Reputation of PSOs’, TPAV Journal, vol. 77, iss. 5, (May 2011), p. 12.

[footnote 39] Victoria Police (2011) ‘Our Say: Protective Services Officers’, Victoria Police News, 19 July, Victoria Police Website, viewed 27 July 2011, < http://www.vicpolicenews.com.au/our-say/7415-our-say-protective-services-officers.html >.

[footnote 40] R. Sexton (2011) ‘Station Guards Plan Hits Buffer’, theage.com.au, June 29, viewed 9 August 2011, < http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/station-guards-plan-hits-buffer-20110628-1gp6y.html >.

[footnote 41] A. Gardiner (2011) ‘Courts to Decide Power of Melbourne’s Train Protective Services Officers’, heraldsun.com.au, 29 July, viewed 9 August, < http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/suburban-assaults-are-on-track-with-city-station/story-e6frf7jo-1226083777292 >.

[footnote 42] A. Gardiner (2011) ‘Flinders St Station Tops Dangerous List’, Herald Sun, June 28, viewed 21 July 2011, < http://www.couriermail.com.au/ipad/suburban-assaults-are-on-track-with-city-station/story-fn6ck4a4-1226082721119 >.

[footnote 43] Public Transport Users Association (2010) Call to Staff All Stations, Election 2010 Media Release, 15 August, viewed 21 July 2011, < http://www.ptua.org.au/2010/08/15/call-to-staff-all-stations/>.

[footnote 44] C. Houston (2011) ‘Are Rail Guards Getting Above their Station?’, theage.com.au, 10 April, viewed 21 July 2011, < http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/are-rail-guards-getting-above-their-station-20110409-1d8ny.html >.

[footnote 45] Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition (2009) op. cit.

[footnote 47] D. Hurley (2011) ‘Your Say: Demand for Action’, Frankston Standard Leader, 18 July, viewed 21 July 2011, < http://frankston-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/your-say-demand-for-action/ >.

[footnote 48] Australian Protective Service Amendment Act 2002 , Australian Protective Service Amendment Act 2003, Australian Federal Police and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2004.

[footnote 49] For further details on the history of the Australian Protective Service see: J. Norberry (2002) ‘Australian Protective Service Amendment Bill 2002’, Bills Digest, No. 152, 2001-02, Canberra, Australian Parliamentary Library; M. Donaldson (2004) ‘Australian Federal Police and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2003’, Bills Digest, No. 78, 2003-04, Canberra, Australian Parliamentary Library.

[footnote 50] Australian Federal Police (2011) ‘Protection Information’, AFP website, viewed 3 August 2011, < http://www.afp.gov.au/jobs/current-vacancies/protection/protection-information.aspx >.

[footnote 51] Australian Federal Police (2010) Australian Federal Police Annual Report 2009-10, Canberra, AFP, p. 91, viewed 3 August 2011, < http://www.afp.gov.au/media-centre/publications/~/media/afp/pdf/a/afp-annual-report-2009-2010.ashx >.

[footnote 52] Australian Federal Police (2011) ‘Protection Information’, op. cit.

[footnote 53] South Australia Police (2011) ‘Protective Security Officers – Our History’, SAPOL Protective Security Officers Careers Site, viewed 8 August 2011, <http://www.achievemore.com.au/security/history.html>; R. Sarre (2008) ‘The Legal Powers of Private Security Personnel: Some Policy Considerations and Legislative Options’,QUT Law and Justice Journal, vol. 8, no. 2, p. 310, viewed 8 August 2011, < http://www.law.qut.edu.au/ljj/editions/v8n2/index.jsp>.

[footnote 54] See R. Sarre (2008) op. cit. and Part 4 of the Protective Security Act 2007 (SA).

[footnote 55] South Australia Police (2011) ‘Protective Security Officers – Why Join Us?’, SAPOL Protective Security Officers Careers Site, viewed 8 August 2011, <http://www.achievemore.com.au/security/why-join-us.html >.

[footnote 56] South Australia Police (2010) South Australia Police Annual Report 2009-10, Adelaide, SAPOL, p. 68, viewed 8 August 2011, < http://police.sa.gov.au/sapol/about_us/publications.jsp>.

[footnote 57] RailCorp (2011) ‘Publication Guide: Structure and Function of RailCorp’, RailCorp website, NSW Government Transport, viewed 3 August 2011, < http://www.railcorp.info/contact_us/access_to_information/publication_guide >.

[footnote 58] CityRail (2011) ‘Keeping You Safe and Secure’, CityRail website, NSW Government Transport, viewed 3 August 2011, < http://www.cityrail.info/travelling_with/safety_and_education/safe_and_secure >.

[footnote 59] NSW Ombudsman (2004) NSW Ombudsman Annual Report 2004-05, Sydney, NSW Ombudsman, p. 69, viewed 4 August 2011, < http://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/publication/PDF/annualreport/Annual_Report_2004_05.pdf >.

[footnote 61] CityRail (2011) ‘Keeping You Safe and Secure’, op. cit.

[footnote 62] CityRail (2011) ‘Careers in Service Delivery’, CityRail website, NSW Government Transport, viewed 4 August 2011, < http://www.railcorp.info/careers/careers_in_service_delivery>.

[footnote 63] Queensland Rail (2011) ‘Security Staff’, Queensland Rail website, viewed 4 August 2011, < http://www.queenslandrail.com.au/RailServices/City/SafetySecurity/Pages/SecurityStaff.aspx >.

[footnote 68] South Australia Police (2011) ‘Transit Services Branch’, South Australia Police website, viewed 5 August 2011, < http://www.sapolice.sa.gov.au/sapol/about_us/structure/operations_support_service/transit_services_branch.jsp >.

[footnote 69] ibid.; South Australia Police, Transit Services Branch, personal communication with Dr. Catriona Ross (Research Officer, Victorian Parliamentary Library), 5 August 2011.

[footnote 70] South Australia Police (2010) South Australia Police Annual Report 2009-10 , Adelaide, SAPOL, p. 44, viewed 5 August 2011, < http://www.sapolice.sa.gov.au/sapol/about_us/publications.jsp>.

[footnote 72] South Australia Police, Transit Services Branch, personal communication, op. cit.

[footnote 73] ibid.; Public Transport Services Division of the Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure (SA), personal communication with Dr. Catriona Ross (Research Officer, Victorian Parliamentary Library), 5 August 2011;

[footnote 74] (2011) ‘Adelaide Cleans Up Public Transport Image with Security Blitz on Danger Trains’, The Advertiser, June 18, news.com.au, viewed 4 August, < http://www.news.com.au/security-blitz-targets-adelaides-danger-trains/story-e6frea83-1226077381044 >.

[footnote 75] Public Transport Authority (WA) (2011) ‘Transit Officer General Information: Job Description’, Transit Officer Recruitment website, viewed 5 August 2011, <http://www.transitofficer.wa.gov.au/job_description.php >.

[footnote 76] See Part 6 of the Public Transport Authority Act 2003 (WA) and Transperth (2011) ‘Transit Officer’s Powers’, Transperth website, viewed 8 August 2011, < http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/TicketsandFares/Infringements/TransitOfficerspowers.aspx >.

[footnote 77] Public Transport Authority (WA) (2011) ‘Transit Officer General Information: Training’, Transit Officer Recruitment website, viewed 5 August 2011, <http://www.transitofficer.wa.gov.au/training.php>.

[footnote 78] K. Crook (ed.) (2006) ‘Rail Unit: Making Travel Safer’, Police Newsbeat, iss. 36, p. 12, viewed 5 August 2011, < http://www.newsbeat.police.wa.gov.au/issues/archive/Newsbeat_36.pdf >.