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POLICE Minister David Campbell will ask for more uniformed officers to patrol the Sydney rail network after a five-week blitz made 60 arrests for crimes including assault and robbery.
Mr Campbell yesterday promised to talk to Police Commissioner Ken Moroney about allocating more police to protect passengers.
More than 650 police officers have been working with rail transit officers on Operation Vision, which ran from July 4 until last night, to target railways crime hotspots.
The crackdown focused on several rail lines and stations across south-west Sydney. Nine knives were seized and 600 minor infringement notices issued.
Hundreds of general duties, plainclothes detectives, highway patrol and Dog Unit police targeted 950 trains.
"Given the success of this operation and the fact that police noted anecdotally the reduction in the criminal element travelling on the trains during the operation, I would like to see this effort continue," said Mr Campbell, who occasionally travels by train to Sydney from his Wollongong home.
"This type of operation is exactly what Morris Iemma had in mind when he set the State Plan targets to reduce crime, not only on our rail network but throughout the community."
Operation Vision came after repeated criticism of safety on city trains. In March, a leaked report by rail experts from Hong Kong - paid by CityRail to compare Sydney with other metro systems - showed there was a greater incidence of vandalism and graffiti here.
Opposition police spokesman Mike Gallacher said additional police were required permanently and numbers should be maintained after media attention dissipated.
During Operation Vision two juveniles aged 16 and 17 were charged with robbery and assault when they demanded money from a 23-year-old passenger on a train from Auburn to Lidcombe.
When the victim, who does not speak English, indicated he had no money, the boys allegedly punched him several times causing several facial injuries, which required hospital treatment.
Other arrests included three men charged with affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm after an incident at Campbelltown station.
South West Metropolitan Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennilli, said: "Together with RailCorp, police set out to maintain a highly visible presence around these areas to detect and deter criminal behaviour.
"With the support and co-operation of transit officers, police will target anyone committing any offence in and around railways."
Police will maintain a covert and overt operation around the trains services for the Bulldogs-Canberra clash at Telstra Stadium this afternoon.
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