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SECURITY at Melbourne's train stations will be tightened to protect against terrorist attack.
Transport chiefs this month met top security agency ASIO and discussed:
REDESIGNING rubbish bins to assist bomb detection.
LOUDSPEAKER warnings to commuters to not leave bags unattended.
REGULAR inspections of tracks, tunnels and bridges.
THE removal of luggage lockers.
PUBLIC awareness campaigns.
The high-level terrorism talks follow Madrid's train bombing in March, which killed 191 people.
A secret trial of a hi-tech video surveillance system that uses computers to recognise faces has also taken place, the Herald Sun has learned.
Transit police have already stepped up inner-city patrols.
And taking photographs in City Loop stations is already banned for security reasons.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Trevor Dobbyn said there was a real risk of a terrorist attack on the mass transit system.
"We wouldn't want Melbourne to get behind the rest of the world in preparedness. We would be making ourselves a bigger target," Mr Dobbyn said.
Connex and Yarra Trams met ASIO and international security experts two weeks ago amid concerns of a heightened risk of terrorist attack. Since Madrid, security has been tightened on train systems around the world.
Measures introduced overseas include random bag searches, screening for explosives, and sniffer dog patrols. But a State Government spokeswoman said Spencer St would continue to have luggage lockers, a statement disputed by insiders.
Connex, Yarra Trams and the police declined to comment on specific anti-terrorism strategies.
But transit police chief Kevin Sheridan said inner-city patrols had been increased.
"We have been running operations around the city stations to increase visibility recently," he said.
The State Government is evaluating a trial of a hi-tech surveillance system installed between Caulfield and Toorak stations.
Electronics giant NEC was able to transmit high-quality video from a moving train back to a monitoring point. At present, surveillance cameras on trains can only record footage that is later retrieved.
Train carriages, stations and car parks were monitored during the trial, which ended a year ago.
NEC Business Solutions Victorian general manager Charles Ando said suspects could be detected using facial recognition technology.
And unusual movement, such as a person wielding a knife, can trigger an alarm, he said.
"The particular carriages (equipped with the system) had almost zero graffiti, zero damage. They were the best cars on the network," he said.
Herald Sun/News Interactive
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