The state opposition is concerned the safety of late night train commuters is in jeopardy following the cancellation of the Guardian trains.
Shadow Minister of Transport Penny Sharpe told The Newsroom commuters are set to be “left on their own on Friday and Saturday nights”.
The Guardian train service, which was introduced in 2010 and provided 14 protected train services every Friday and Saturday night, has been removed from the timetable.
The service is being replaced with Operation Rolling Shield, which was designed to give police more jurisdiction on the train lines and has been supported by the NSW Transport Worker’s Union.
Operation Rolling Shield was brought in to crack down on commuter offences committed on public transport. It focuses on crime hot-spots and will use information gathered during the high visibility operation to improve public safety.
Mrs Sharpe was concerned that the changes would cause commuters to avoid train services at night because of police understaffing.
She called on Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian to intervene and keep the service. She told The Newsroom there was “no excuse to dump the Guardian service” and that it was endangering passengers.
“It’s a significant downgrade to commuters’ peace of mind,” she said, adding that commuter security has been abandoned due to the cut.
Assistant Police Commissioner Max Mitchell came out and defended the action to remove the Guardian.
“We had high numbers of police for basically no crime on those Guardian services where crime was occurring on other services,” he told the ABC.
Assistant Police Commissioner Mitchell believed the Guardian services were out-dated and the situation was in need of a new approach. “The actual model [of the Guardian services], I think was quite old”. – Brian Ennew
Top photo of Sydney Train commuters taken by Memu Conteh.