Wyndham’s deputy mayor has called for protective services officers to start patrolling the area’s train stations from 4pm every day, rather than 6pm.
Cr Kim McAliney made the comments at a community safety forum in Truganina.
Cr McAliney, who is Wyndham’s safer communities portfolio holder, said at last month’s forum that having PSOs on duty earlier would “hopefully” lead to a drop in crime at stations between 4-6pm.
Under current arrangements, PSOs officially start patrolling at Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit, Williams Landing and Wyndham Vale stations about 6 every evening.
They finish after the last train from the city arrives each night, but patrol all night on Fridays and Saturdays.
Neighbourhood Watch Tarneit chairman Rishi Prabhakar said it would be a “good move” to have PSOs on duty at train stations from 4pm onwards.
“Because it’s winter, it gets dark early and there are a lot of people waiting for buses, people who are walking home, so it would be good to have a police presence,” he said.
Mr Prabhakar said that although it was “pretty quiet” between 4-5pm in terms of crime occurring at train stations, having PSOs around would help to boost commuter perceptions of safety.
Sanjay Sethi, from Neighbourhood Watch Tarneit Central, said most crimes at train stations happened at night. He said that in comparison to train stations, which were frequented by a lot of people, more crime occurred at some of Wynhdam’s parks, where there was not much lighting.
Victoria police spokeswoman Hannah McDonald said that in addition to PSOs, police from the Transit Safety Division worked with Wyndham police to enhance the safety of commuters.
“Transit Safety Division has officers based in different areas of the state who police local train lines, bus and tram routes and transport hubs in uniform and plain-clothes at various times of the day and night to prevent offences and to address crime themes as they arise,” she said.
“We also work closely with Public Transport Victoria and the transport operators to provide commuters with a safe travelling environment.”