Drivers call for extra security
Drivers around Sydney have noticed an increased level of alcohol- and drug-fuelled violence on buses and are concerned that not enough security staff are being deployed consistently to manage the problem.
Security staff are being shuffled around from region to region to fill gaps as they arise, when a continuous, regular presence in each area is required to maintain safety for passengers and staff.
As a result of union negotiations with the STA, security guards numbers remained at summertime levels on the Northern Beaches after the end of summer because the level of violence showed no sign of slowing down as the weather cooled.
A recent operation organised by the RTA on the Northern Beaches, where police specifically patrolled bus stops known to be trouble hot-spots, was very effective at curbing antisocial behaviour in the short term. The union would like to see this kind of activity regularly rolled out into other Sydney regions.
In order for the STA to be fully informed about the number of violent and anti-social incidents and to be able to arrange the necessary security presence, the union is urging drivers to complete a TSIR report at the back of their daily journal for every incident and fax it at the end of the shift to the STA (the fax number is on the form).
It’s also a good idea to take a copy of the report and give it to your union delegate so they can keep track of how many reports are being filed.
The union would also like to have better access to the information collected by the STA – the number of reports filed and the regions from which they come – in order to work more effectively with the STA to ensure security staff are sent to the appropriate locations.
Before the last state election RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens called for better CCTV coverage and lighting across the entire public transport network and 400 extra Transit and Bus Protection Officers to provide a visible safety boost.
The RTBU is continuing to lobby State Government on this issue and believes that better incident reporting will demonstrate the need for a larger security presence.