ANTISOCIAL behaviour at stations along the Belgrave and Lilydale railway lines has renewed eastern suburbs residents' calls for protective service officers to be deployed as soon as possible.
A 27-year-old Tecoma woman contacted the Weekly about her harrowing experience on a Belgrave-bound train last Friday week.
Jess (not her real name) was heading home in the evening from the city when a girl in her late teens got on at Bayswater. The teen was verbally and physically fighting with a group of about five men and women.
Jess said the girl held up the train at Bayswater station for about eight minutes before it was waved on by a Metro attendant. The group continued to fight on the train and terrify the passengers, forcing some to move onto other carriages.
"A few got off at stations clearly not their own and two women and I got off in tears," she said. Jess said the group was clearly affected by drugs and alcohol and several men were sworn at when they tried to intervene.
"They repeatedly spat at passengers and stood in front of the safety button so noone could push it."
The girl in her teens then assaulted a passenger.
Jess said the girl had a knife in her backpack.
When Jess got off the train at Upwey, she rang the Belgrave police and was told they had already got nine calls about the incident and the teen had been caught.
Jess told the Weekly such incidents happened often and called for PSOs to be deployed along the line. She said her community was excited when they heard about the introduction of PSOs because it would mean more help for Ringwood, Bayswater, Upwey, Boronia and Belgrave stations.
"So far, all we've seen is large groups of PSOs patrolling the already well-lit and well-cared-for city stations."
Sergeant Craig Macgregor of the Ringwood police said they had got word that PSOs would be coming to patrol the Ringwood and Boronia railway stations.
"But we don't know when we are getting them," he said. "Certainly there's a need for them."
A Victoria Police spokeswoman was unable to provide a date for PSOs deployment along the line.
She said a decision on where they would be based depended on factors such as how busy the station was and the amount of reported crime and antisocial behaviour.
Officers will deployed to Frankston next, the spokeswoman confirmed.