Making Dandenong Railway Station Precinct Safer (June 2014)
20 June 2014
The City of Greater Dandenong is strongly committed to creating a safer city. Council, community members and partner organisations are currently implementing the Dandenong Railway Station Precinct Action Plan 2011-18, improve safety, amenity, design and security in and around the Dandenong Station.
Dandenong Railway Station is a key gateway leading into Dandenong’s central business district, servicing over 7,500 patrons a day. It is one of Greater Dandenong’s most important public spaces, connecting many community members to their work, shopping and social commitments.
Since 2011, the Action Plan has successfully guided Council and its partners to deliver a range of effective strategies and related activities that aim to improve community safety, the amenity, design and security of the Station and its surrounds. From 2011 onwards, positive improvements include:
the installation of CCTV security camera systems in and around the station precinct
improved cleanliness, maintenance, staffing levels, disability and public access
enforcing local laws banning consumption of alcohol
redevelopment of the Bus Interchange area and its shelters, combined with the introduction of a Safe Taxi Rank with its own CCTV, improving pedestrian and traffic safety
regular cultural, performance and social activities to engage patrons and other visitors
a new plaza, ‘Settlers Square’ beside the ‘Pop-up Park’ and opposite the Station, which in turn connects to a new street, ‘Halpin Way’ that leads to the City’s new public square.
Protective Service Officers are now on duty at the Station daily, from 6pm until after the last train. Victoria Police data in 2013 has shown that their presence coupled with increased Police patrols and dedicated Precinct operations has led to:
a 40% decrease in damage to property
a 25% decrease in thefts from motor cars
a 12% decrease in assaults
a 5% decrease in robberies.
A Working Group of senior representatives from Metro Trains, Public Transport Victoria, Places Victoria, Victoria Police and Mission Australia work closely with Council to review the achievements of the Action Plan on a yearly basis and identified priority actions for the following 12 months.
The hard work and commitment of each of these groups is a critical factor that contributes to the successful implementation of the Dandenong Railway Station Precinct Action Plan 2011-18.
Protective Services Officers (PSOs) The PSOs commenced in May and will patrol Dandenong Station daily from 6pm until the last train in a bid to tackle crime, violence and anti-social behaviour. While on duty, PSOs have the power to apprehend, detain, arrest and remove any offenders or threatening individuals.
Installation of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) Funding has been secured from the Department of Justice and Grocon for additional CCTV systems along Foster Street and the new Settler’s Square and Halpin Way. Installation is due for completion in October 2012 and monitoring of CCTV will occur from Dandenong Police Station.
‘No Drinking Alcohol in Public Places’ An initiative aimed at reducing alcohol consumption in public places, through an education campaign and a joint Council and police operation. Informative signage and footpath stencils are currently being introduced around the Station, along Foster Street, and nearby car parks and laneways.
‘Safe City Days’ Quarterly event run by Victoria Police, Metro, Neighbourhood Watch and Council to promote key safety messages to commuters.
'Station Sessions’ A busking program running every Friday from 4pm-6pm during May, June and July in the Dandenong Station concourse.
Improved cleanliness, maintenance and disability access Metro staff are currently undertaking a review of Station cleaning schedules and the operation of Station lifts are regularly monitored. Capital works are currently underway to re-develop the bus interchange and taxi rank in order to improve traffic flow.
Improved staffing and surveillance Metro staff now wear orange vests for improved visibility; safety messages are now broadcast regularly over the loudspeaker; Station CCTV systems are actively monitored by Metro staff; and appropriate safety signage is displayed on Station platforms.
Promotion of local activities Council has initiated a number of activities at Dandenong Station to promote social and cultural activities. This has included giveaways from Dandenong Market, Drum Theatre and Walker Street Gallery as well as the installation of four notice boards. Metro staff also regularly distribute Travel Smart maps to commuters.