POLICE PRESENCE: Senior Constable Ben Reeve, Sergeant Geoff Cree, Senior Constable Cherie Snell, Senior Constable Dean Magarry and Senior Constable Tony Whitten at the station branch.
POLICE PRESENCE: Senior Constable Ben Reeve, Sergeant Geoff Cree, Senior Constable Cherie Snell, Senior Constable Dean Magarry and Senior Constable Tony Whitten at the station branch. Rob Williams

Safer train travel with new rail squad station

THE new railway squad police station at Ipswich railway station is set to drive down crime and increase commuter safety.

Up to six police officers are stationed at the new $500,000 Ipswich outpost.

They have access to hundreds of cameras across the Ipswich line that are part of 8000 CCTV cameras across the network.

This enables them to monitor what is happening on the platforms and respond to any incidents promptly.

The railway squad police target anti-social behaviour, property offences and offences against people on trains and at stations.

The visible presence they provide is also set to enhance the feeling of security of those who use the Ipswich line.

Ipswich MP Ian Berry conducted an extensive survey recently and the results indicated that law and order was at the top of community concerns.

"When I was campaigning for greater services a lot of people said to me that security at 3pm and 6pm was a big factor for them," Mr Berry said.

"So I knew we had to complete the picture.

"On public transport you have got to feel safe and with the extra visibility of police I think people will feel a lot safer than they did maybe three or four years ago."

Law and order has been front and centre of Mr Berry's term in office and he was determined to get the railway squad station.

"There was going to be an allocation, but it was a question of putting pressure on the Police Minister to make sure that Ipswich got it," he said.

Mr Berry said his feedback from businesses in the vicinity of the station was positive and they now felt safer due to the extra police presence.

Queensland Rail has 68 railway police across the network, but putting them in outposts like the one at Ipswich enables them to target their resources to the parts of the network that need it.

Ipswich is now the sixth police outpost in south-east Queensland, along with Redbank, Petrie, Beenleigh, Manly and headquarters at Roma Street.

Queensland Rail's manager of security services Paul Enever said "by having outposts at each end of the network we are able to make sure that police can respond to incidents and also proactively patrol the lines at times when we need them and where we need them".

"The Ipswich outpost has been open for a few weeks and it enables a response to issues and also to prevent issues from occurring," he said.

"If there are people loitering around the stations, police are able to move them on quickly.

"Levels of crime on the rail network are very low but having police at hand able to respond quickly drives that even lower."

Inspector Keith McDonald said the railway squad police worked in the Ipswich district but were from the operations support command.

He said they complemented the work already being done by Ipswich Police District officers.

"Having these officers out at Ipswich station is going to make the travel for everybody safer, along with the patrols Ipswich police officers are already doing on the rail lines," he said.



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