Baillieu’s Shambolic Plan To Turn Police Into Taxi Drivers

Police could be forced to use divvy vans to transport Protective Service Offices to and from toilet breaks under a flawed plan by the Baillieu Government.

Shadow Minister for Police James Merlino said Mr Baillieu’s flagship election policy was unravelling by the day.

“The Government’s PSO plan has been exposed as a shambles,” Mr Merlino said.

“Under questioning from the Opposition, Richard Dalla-Riva has admitted that police officers may be taken off the streets and used to shuttle PSOs to a toilet or for a meal.”

“It may be that you have a divvy van with an extra seat that is cruising past the station, doing a regular check-up, as they do, as part of their patrol. Police officers are not always in the police station with crooks. It may be that police officers get a call saying that a PSO needs to go to the gents, or the ladies, or they want to have a break or whatever.”

Richard Dalla-Riva, Parliament, Thursday, 24 March

“This is an absolute disgrace – it will take police off the streets and turn them into a taxi service,” Mr Merlino said.

“PSOs stationed at train stations without toilets will either have to catch a train to use toilet facilities at another station or wait for local police to collect them for toilet and meal breaks.


“It will cause massive inconvenience to both PSOs and police, and is a huge drain on resources.


“Taking police off our streets makes a mockery of the Baillieu Government’s commitment on getting tough on crime.


“Victorians who need local police assistance may find that they have to wait for a PSO toilet run to finish before police can help.

“The Baillieu Government’s PSO plan is rapidly turning into a fraud on Victorian commuters, police and people who might have wanted to work as a new protective services officer.”

Mr Merlino said the Government had 18 months to come up with the details for the plan but had failed.

“Having spruiked its flagship plan to deliver improved transport safety, Mr Baillieu and Mr Dalla-Riva have revealed a breathtaking ignorance of the issues, resourcing and planning involved in delivering this key promise,” he said.

“We have repeatedly asked the Baillieu Government to explain how PSOs will be recruited, deployed and shuttled to and from a number of locations to railway stations throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria, and now the lack of detail and planning has been revealed.

“Not only has Mr Baillieu miscalculated the number of PSOs to be recruited and trained each year to deliver on this commitment, they have failed to allocate any funding to upgrade and improve training facilities to meet a significant surge in police and PSO recruits.

“Mr Baillieu clearly doesn’t value this group of workers highly enough to ensure that they have adequate shelter and amenities, and the prospect of standing for hours on a train station in rain, hail and wind hardly makes this a dream job. “

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