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ABOUT 3000 fines have been issued by the new armed guards patrolling Melbourne's train stations in the seven months since the Victorian government began deploying its latest crime-fighting tool.
One hundred and forty Protective Services Officers (PSOs) now patrol 20 of Victoria's 215 metropolitan train stations, after Hoppers Crossing and Reservoir stations were added to the network on Tuesday night.
Acting Premier Peter Ryan said about 3000 offences had been detected by the PSOs since February as part of their role which includes making arrests and detecting breaches of bail.
He described the infringements that had been issued as "a mix and match reflective of the work that they do".
It was too early to make projections about how much revenue would be raised, he said.
The officers staff railway platforms seven nights a week from 6pm until the last train.
Mr Ryan was speaking at the unveiling of a $250,000 mock train station at the Glen Waverley Police Academy's scenario village that will be used as part of the 12-week PSO training program.
A further 800 PSOs are needed for the government to be able to deliver on its election promise of 940 PSOs across Victoria.
Facilities will have to be made available for the officers at each of Melbourne's train stations, Mr Ryan said, and there are plans for work to be carried out at 60.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said the PSO policy was an unmitigated shambles, with just 140 of the PSOs out on stations after two years.
"I'd suggest to Peter Ryan he can brag when they're all on the platforms as he promised," he said.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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