Community takes fight for rail to the Supreme Court
Rail corridor between Glenfield and Macarthur earmarked for medium density
Rail Trail boost to tourism - and local economy
Newcastle rail case may be long wait
Save Our Rail questions semantics argument over rail line cut
North West Rail Link corridor to extend through to Marsden Park
Camurra West to Weemelah Line Booked Out of Use
Rail Trail full steam ahead
John Holland Commissions Electronic Train Orders
Closure of Newcastle rail stations not technically a closure of whole line, State Government lawyer says
A SYDNEY rail commuter with a valid ticket was handcuffed by transit officers and made to squat for 15 minutes after he went through a turnstile, a damning report by the New South Wales Ombudsman said.
The Ombudsman's annual report, released today, strongly criticised the grey-shirted transit officers who patrol trains on the CityRail network.
The report detailed one incident in which a man had a valid ticket but was unable to operate the turnstile, so he went through the turnstile – only to be handcuffed by a transit officer.
"(The man) showed the transit officer the valid ticket but (he was) still handcuffed and made to squat for 15 minutes until police arrived – a most extraordinary thing to happen in Sydney in 2005," Ombudsman Bruce Barbour said.
He said transit officers had arrested people, possibly unlawfully, when no offence had been committed.
"I don't think transit officers understand their powers," he said.
The report also found three-quarters of RailCorp's investigations into complaints about transit officers were unsatisfactory.
In many instances, RailCorp failed to pursue obvious lines of inquiry, failed to check the complaint history of the officers involved and did not interview the complainant.
"What our review of RailCorp's systems led us to believe is that they're not being properly investigated," Mr Barbour said.
"In many cases, no interviews were being undertaken of anybody other than the transit officers."
NSW Transport Minister John Watkins said he had been shocked by the behaviour of some transit officers.
"I was disturbed early in the year about some of the reports coming through to me which is why I initiated that review back in March and why we've worked very closely with the ombudsman since that time," he said.
Opposition transport spokesman Barry O'Farrell said the report raised concerns about transit officers' behaviour.
"Transit officers should be protecting train travelers from anti-social behaviour, not abusing their role by using excessive force," he said.
The Ombudsman's report also found a steep increase in complaints about NSW Police.
There were 4179 complaints about police in 2004-05, up from 3565 last year.
"We have more officers this year being charged with more offences than we have over the previous five years – 81 officers this year, with 155 different charges," Mr Barbour said.
More police were dobbing in colleagues, and charges against police officers included assault, misconduct relating to driving, drink driving, fraud and sex offences.
The report said police generally handled serious complaints well, although there were inadequacies in some complaint investigations.
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2021 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.