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A train driver and a woman were attacked on the Belair rail line just hours after the State Government announced regular nightly security patrols on the route and two others would be axed from July 1, sparking calls for the retention of the permanent guards.
A 34-year-old Morphett Vale man allegedly assaulted his female partner and then attacked a train driver who tried to intervene about 7.15pm on Thursday.
Both victims were treated in hospital for minor injuries.
It is understood there were no security guards on the train at the time of the incident.
Police arrested the suspect at the Eden Hills train station and charged him with two counts of aggravated assault.
He was refused police bail and was expected to appear in the Christies Beach Magistrates Court on Friday.
Earlier in the day, Transport Minister Stephan Knoll revealed regular nightly patrols on the Belair, Tonsley and Grange lines would be scrapped from July 1 as part of the third phase of a safety overhaul of the state’s public transport network.
Transport Minister Stephan Knoll revealed regular nightly patrols on the Belair, Tonsley and Grange lines would be scrapped from July 1.Mr Knoll justified the decision by saying there were only two incidents on the Belair line in 2017/18, compared to 34 on the Gawler line and 17 on the Seaford route.
He said from the beginning of 2019/20, the number of roving security guards, who will move between trains, trams, buses, stations and stops across the network, will rise from four to 16.
An extra rapid-response vehicle patrol will also check the public transport network each night and respond to incidents, bringing the total number of these patrols to six.
However, the Opposition fears the loss of the permanent guards on the Belair, Tonsley and Grange lines will be put the safety of drivers and passengers at risk.
Labor Transport spokesman Tom Koutsantonis said the alleged assault of the Belair line demonstrated why permanent guards should remain on the line.
“One of the reasons these lines are safe is because of the public deterrent of seeing security guards on these lines,” he said.
This article first appeared on www.adelaidenow.com.au
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