Metro Trains abuse update

This is an update on my previous article about the astounding physical abuse of a 15 year-old girl by a Metro Trains ticketing inspector.

Dumb Ways to Die

Dumb Ways to Die

Thank you to Dan A’Vard for permission to use the graphic. Dan started the petition on Change.org that now has over 33,000 signatures.

On Friday I received an email from Dan updating his progress. Here is part of it.

Also unbelievably, Metro are still refusing to return my calls or my emails. This issue is too important to be left to the sidelines, so I have asked both Terry Mulder and Denis Napthine to facilitate a summit with Metro Trains and key stakeholders to seek a transformation in how they deal with their staff. You can help put pressure on by emailing them at premier@dpc.vic.gov.au and terence.mulder@parliament.vic.gov.au and asking them to facilitate this summit as a matter of priority.

In preparing this petition, I’ve come across some pretty sobering things. Apparently there were more than 500 ‘use of force’ incidents involving Metro Authorised Officers in the 2012-13 financial year. That’s more than one every day! There is also a long record of reports, including a young person pushed out of a moving train way back in 2010 (see it here).

On a Facebook thread I found the regulations, or part thereof, highlighted. You can read the full thread here https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dumb-Ways-to-Die/493537263991975

Division 4A—Accreditation of passenger transport

228AA Objective
The objective of this Division is that the
authorised officer management systems provided
by passenger transport companies, bus companies
and the Bus Association Victoria be provided in a
manner that promotes the safety, comfort, amenity
and convenience of persons using the services
provided by the bodies and other persons,
particularly children and other vulnerable persons.

228AB Definition
In this Division, authorised officer management
system means a system for the management of
authorised officers that includes—
(a) education and training relating to—
(i) the use of enforcement powers;
(ii) behaviour by authorised officers toward
members of the public, particularly
children and other vulnerable persons;

Reading this is seems to me body-slamming of patrons is not exactly recommended.

Another aspect of this whole saga is we have the courts in Victoria warning young people of the DANGERS of JUST ONE PUNCH to the head and our society desperately trying to reduce the amount of alcohol-fuelled violence on our streets. Yet THIS sort of violence seems to be, according to Metro Trains, “acceptable”.

We need to speak louder and ensure Metro Trains and the Victorian government understand we DO NOT accept this level of violence.

Follow Dan’s lead: sign the petition, write to the Premier. Speak up, don’t let this become “acceptable” in our society.

10 comments on “Metro Trains abuse update

  1. Whinge whinge whinge. Buy a ticket and you’ll never have a problem. I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. Abusive brat assaults Authorised Officer, gets restrained and charged. Doesn’t really seem newsworthy to me, seems like common sense.


    • At no time is violence appropriate. That you condone such behaviour by the inspector indicates you condone violence as a solution. Would you approve of a teacher doing that to one of your children? Because that is what you have just said.

      That girl could have died or been permanently injured. Irrespective of how ill-behaved she may have been, that was not in any way appropriate or reasonable force.


  2. It won’t let me watch the video but it sounds horrendous.


  3. Based on this report I have to say that the Aussie ticket collectors seem more cretinous than the Wellington NZ ones. Though not by much. I had an experience last week where a train I was aiming to catch arrived early. It wasn’t the first time one I was trying to get had arrived early either. First time it happened, I had to run to the train on a sprained ankle. Ouch. I asked the on-board train manager what happened and was told that even though I had a current printed timetable and could prove the time it was meant to arrive, actually I was wrong.

    The second time it happened – guess what… it was the same train manager. Again, despite having other passengers agree with me, and proving that TranzMetro’s own arrival board had shown the train arrived early, I was told once again that I was wrong.

    I wrote a letter to the management suggesting that, as I was wrong and their train manager was right, even in the face of all the evidence including their own timetables, their own arrival boards, and testament from other passengers, then to reach the station I was using when it did, obviously their trains were capable of 300 km/h, or maybe time travel.

    I don’t know if they were immune to my sarcasm but I got a note back telling me that, in fact, I had been right and the train HAD been early to my station. But privacy legislation prevented them telling me what they were going to do about it… My guess is ‘nothing’, but maybe I’m just old and cynical.

    Of course, we’re talking here about a Wellington train system where the units display signs like ‘File Not Found’ on their destination boards, or where they roll up to stations and sit there for a while before somebody inside shouts that the train’s broken and it won’t be going anywhere. Or where they have a link-pin failure that threatens to rip units in half and drop passengers into the tracks at 80 km/h (really!). Or where loose pieces of brake pressure cylinder slam through the floor into the passenger area (1 metre from a friend of mine) and derail the train. Sigh.


    • I no longer travel on public transport regularly as I drive to work. Consequently I’m usually on off-peak transport if I do take a train.

      This particular event really bothers me – and at least 33,000 other Victorians.

      I think perhaps what you need in New Zealand to slow the trains down is more people! 😆

      Early is worse than late – one doesn’t miss a late train, but can miss and early one! Have you been to Japan? Their trains are like clock work.


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