The Perth Transport Authority has dismissed claims there are major deficiencies in its training and management practices, after a study by Edith Cowan University.
The $100,000 study, which was conducted from 2006-2009, made 16 recommendations, including the need to publicise the transit guards’ arrest powers and the need to review the use of pepper spray.
Australian Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Phil Woodcock told thewest.com.au the report had confirmed long-running concerns about the lack of training.
“If we’re having these regular incidents, whether it’s accusations against officers or incidents where officers are getting injured, you would think the (Public Transport Authority) or the Government would be saying ‘what the hell is going on here’,” he said last week.
But PTA spokesperson David Hynes says it’s important for the report to be considered in context.
“It was a study that was set up in 2005 and started in 2006,” he says.
“Many issues that have been raised were in fact identified by us in 2006.”
Mr Hynes has dismissed the merit of the report, as many of the recommendations had already been identified and addressed.
The report also found transit guards needed a different uniform to address safety issues, but Mr Hynes says this is one recommendation the PTA has specifically chosen not to uphold.
Mr Hynes says the training processes and the structure of the transit office have both been ratified by police and the Crime and Corruption Commission and the transit office has been in an evolution period since it was set up in 2002.
“We are continuing to learn and improve as an organisation, so we would expect things to improve from 2006 to now,” he says.
Click on the link below to hear some of the interview with PTA spokesman David Hynes