Protective Services Officers (PSOs), the under-trained and over-armed branch of the Victorian Police, have come under fire for assaulting, intimidating and harassing public transport commuters.
By Jorden Griggs, Socialist Party
PSOs were created as part of a law and order push by the previous Liberal Government. While train stations have never been places of high crime activity, the role of PSOs is to defend the profit interests of Melbourne’s privately operated public transport network.
Supported by both Labor and the Liberals, PSOs drain an estimated $60 million a year out of taxpayer funds. If public transport was run as a service, rather than a private money making enterprise, we wouldn’t need a repressive force.
The money wasted on corporate subsidies, the Myki ticketing system and PSOs could instead be put towards making the network free. Many more socially necessary jobs would be created by staffing stations and trains with customer service staff and expanding the network into every suburb.
PSOs should be gotten rid off before they kill or seriously injure someone. At the same time we should bring the public transport system back into public hands so that it can be run in the interests of the community.