I’ve been working in Railway Security for about 13.5 years. I work as a Summons Officer. Previously I was a Supervisor, supervising the Transit Officers, making sure they do the job right, follow the law, don’t misbehave themselves or mistreat the offenders and make sure they police the system.
I used to see a lot of disorderly behaviour, violence, assaults, fare evasions and general misbehaviour from all classes of people.
With people who don’t have a fixed address, there’s a way of dealing with it. If you’re going to charge them with a charge and you know you’re not going to be able to summons them, you arrest them so you can bail them to appear in court.
Youth and adults are all the same. Age doesn’t matter until we start asking them how old they are and we have to deal with them personally and that’s where the difficulty comes in. Adults can be released and most youths have to be released to a responsible adult. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if they’re a juvenile. You talk to someone and go “How old are you . . . and you go . . . far out!”
I’ve got a good working relationship with the police, I always have since day one. The Police Rail Unit are a great bunch of guys. The support’s there and any time we need help, they’re there for us.
Our guys always get assaulted. Transit Officers are on the frontline. When they’re in the train and they’re dealing with an incident, they’ve got nowhere to go. They’re on the spot and normally they don’t get called to it like the police do 9 times out of 10, when the incident is already happening.
I think night trains would help stop a lot of incidents in the city and get people home and it may also prevent a lot of accidents on the roads too from people drink driving because they have no other avenue to get home. I’ve always been in great favour of late night trains especially now that I’m not on the job because I would have had to stay there.
I don’t know about Adelaide but most cities now have 24 hour trains and we’re probably one of the few who don’t. You do get a lot of trouble in the carriages from people who have an ulterior motive and not just to be a passenger to go from A to B.