- RailCorp Transit Officer
A Transit Officer is the primary security and law enforcement officer for RailCorp train services in
New South Wales, Australia. Transit Officers conduct uniformed and plainclothes patrols on CityRailand CountryLinktrain services and are assigned to ensure the safety and security of passengers, staff and rail property.cite web |title = Careers in Service Delivery |url = http://www.railcorp.info/careers/careers_in_service_delivery |publisher = RailCorp|accessdate = 2008-03-04 ]
The position was created in
2002after a report found that rail security required more authority than possessed by the Chubb Securityofficers contracted by RailCorp.cite web |title = RailCorp Annual Report 2006-2007 |url = http://www.railcorp.info/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/5493/RailCorp_Annual_Report_2006-2007.pdf |publisher = RailCorp|accessdate = 2008-03-04 |date = 2007-10-31 ] cite web |title = Now all rail guards to carry batons |url = http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/02/15/1076779837267.html |publisher = The Sydney Morning Herald|accessdate = 2008-03-04 |date = 2004-02-16 ] RailCorp figures show that to date over 600 Transit Officers have been engaged.
tatus and powers
The "Rail Safety (General) Regulation 2003" provides for RailCorp employees acting in the position of Transit Officer to be appointed as an authorised officer for the purposes of the "Rail Safety Act 2002".cite web |title = Rail Safety (General) Regulation 2003 |url = http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/fullhtml/inforce/subordleg+105+2003+FIRST+0+N? |publisher = New South Wales Parliamentary Counsel's Office |accessdate = 2008-01-01 ] The Act and Regulations establish various railway offences and the powers of an authorised officer in relation to those offences.
A Transit Officer may also be appointed as a special constable under the "Police (Special Provisions) Act 1901", which would give the Transit Officer the same legal powers as a constable of the
New South Wales Police Force. [cite web |title = Police (Special Provisions) Act 1901 |url = http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/fullhtml/inforce/act+5+1901+FIRST+0+N? |publisher = New South Wales Parliamentary Counsel's Office |accessdate = 2008-01-01 ] A requirement of employment as a Transit Officer is eligibility to be appointed as a special constable.
Powers under the Rail Safety Act and Regulations
By virtue of the " [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/rsa2002127/ Rail Safety Act 2002] " and the " [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_reg/rsr2003273/ Rail Safety (General) Regulation 2003] ", Transit Officers are empowered to:
*Request tickets and concession cards for inspection ( [http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/legis/nsw/consol_reg/rsr2003273/s10.html Rail Safety (General) Regulation 2003 - REG 10] ),
*Direct people to leave stations and trains ( [http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/legis/nsw/consol_reg/rsr2003273/s39.html Rail Safety (General) Regulation 2003 - REG 39] )
*Demand full name and residential address when they suspect, on reasonable grounds that a person has committed a railway offence,
*Issue infringement notices ('on-the-spot' fines) for railway offences.
Unless appointed as a special constable, Transit Officers have no legal basis to demand [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/04/2234866.htm ABC News 04-May-2008] ] [ [http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/05/03/1209235226975.html Sydney Morning Herald 04-May-2008] ] [ [http://news.smh.com.au/national/rail-officers-have-no-power-to-see-id-20080503-2ao6.html Sydney Morning Herald 03-May-2008] ] [ [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/rsa2002127/s96.html RAIL SAFETY ACT 2002 - SECT 96] - A request does not mean a person is legally obliged to provide proof of name and address details provided, it is however an offense to provide incorrect details to a Transit Officer.] Under current laws, Transit Officers not appointed as special constables have no legal basis for detaining a person who refuses to provide more information than their full name and residential address. Officers making arrests, or detaining persons on these grounds leave themselves open to criminal and civil legal action including (but not limited to) false arrest and assault. Furthermore Cityrail has a history of distancing itself from Transit Officers who act beyond their scope.
Due to RailCorp policy, Transit Officers have no discretion as to whether or not to issue an infringement notice when they witness an offence being committed.cite web |title =Youth Justice: your guide to cops and court in New South Wales |url = http://esvc001460.wic011u.server-web.com/pdf/Transit%20Officers.pdf |publisher = Youth Education Project, Macquarie Legal Centre |accessdate = 2008-01-01 ]
Power of arrest
Transit Officers, unless they have been appointed as a special constable, are not granted any specific power of arrest by legislation. The power of arrest as exercised by Transit Officers is referred to as a
citizen's arrestand is granted to all persons in New South Walesby section 100 of the "Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002.cite web |title = Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 |url = http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/fullhtml/inforce/act+103+2002+FIRST+0+N? |publisher = New South Wales Parliamentary Counsel's Office |accessdate = 2008-01-01 ]
By virtue of section 231 of the "Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002", a person making an arrest under section 100 may use reasonable force to make the arrest or to prevent the escape of the person after arrest. Upon making an arrest, the Transit Officer will make arrangements to transfer the person into police custody.
Uniform and equipment
Transit Officers wear a distinctive dark grey and black uniform with rail corporation N.S.W. arm patches and yellow rank insignia on their shoulders.
RailCorphas reviewed the uniform worn by Transit Officers with focus group feedback deeming the current uniforms "too threatening" and "SWAT-like". [cite web |title = Transit News No. 6 |url = http://www.rtbu-nsw.asn.au/newsletter/editions/2944/DocumentName/06.Transit_News_No.6.pdf |publisher = Rail Tram and Bus Union |accessdate = 2008-03-02 ] A weeklong trial of blue uniforms took place from the 20 February 2008, with RailCorp conducting a survey of passengers to gauge the public response to the changes.The transition to the new blue transit officer uniforms is to coincide with an advertisement campaign about rail safety and the role of transit officers, which is due to be rolled out at the end of October 2008. . [cite web |title = Transit News No. 7 |url = http://www.rtbu-nsw.asn.au/multiattachments/3227/DocumentName/07.Transit_News_No.7.pdf |publisher = Rail Tram and Bus Union |accessdate = 2008-03-31 ]
Transit Officers have a rank structure, insignia of which is worn on their
epaulettes. [cite web |title = RailCorp Transit Officer |url =http://lakescan.customer.netspace.net.au/ |accessdate = 2008-03-04] Ranks set out below ascend in seniority from left to right. One rank that is not shown in the pictures below, is that of a Probationary Transit Officer. The rank comes before a Transit officer on the far left and is a Solid black epaulette with no other decoration.
Transit Officers undergo a six month training programme focusing on rail law and law enforcement based customer service, they receive training covering the Rail Safety Act, the Crimes Act, the Evidence Act, the Young Offenders Act, investigation and crime scene preservation. During these six months Transit Officers gain experience in oral de-escalation techniques, Defensive tactics, rail safety, communications, documenting, briefs of evidence and various other areas.
* [http://www.railcorp.info/careers/careers_in_service_delivery RailCorp Careers in Service Delivery]
* [http://www.trackingtrains.com.au/info/careers_transit_officer.htm Careers in Rail - Transit Officer Profile]
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