PROTECTIVE service officers will start patrols at Ringwood and Lilydale railway stations from tonight.
However commuters are still waiting for long-promised CCTV cameras around the Ringwood station precinct.
In welcome news for train users, Maroondah's Acting Inspector Graham Gooding said there would be five PSOs at the station from 6pm until after the last train.
Croydon station is set to follow, with PSOs on site in a fortnight.
"It is going to make a big difference," Inspector Gooding said. "It's two stations in Maroondah covered and that will be fantastic."
The Weekly had reported last month that PSOs were to be deployed soon to the Ringwood station, amid continued commuters' safety concerns on the Lilydale/Belgrave lines.
The PSO deployment follows news that a federal funding promise of $200,000 to install closed circuit television cameras around the station has stalled.
Funding was announced last September and the then-minister for Home Affairs told the Weekly cameras would be fitted by February this year. A year on, there are still no cameras.
Maroondah Council last week said the initial date for cameras was July, making delivery two months behind schedule.
A spokesman for the minister said installation was now due by the end of November "due to the extensive stakeholder negotiations necessary to deliver the project".
The CCTV cameras will be funded under the federal Safer Suburbs scheme.
Maroondah Council's director of city development Phil Turner said new requirements for testing and approval of CCTV cameras had caused the delay.
"This is a lengthy, but essential, requirement of the project that must be carried out by all authorities seeking to install CCTV cameras.
"The council is working with SP AusNet to have all cameras and preferred locations assessed and approved as soon as possible."
The cameras are due to be placed at the Ringwood station bus interchange, Civic Place mall, near the library, the carparks behind and opposite, the nightclub areas on Maroondah Highway and the Seymour Street skate park.
"Once this process is completed, the council will be in a position to install and activate the camera network."
Inspector Gooding said CCTV footage would be a "terrific aid" and he was looking forward to the cameras.
"We have them at Croydon and even in the dark you can see what is going on."
He said the combination of CCTV cameras and the PSOs would go a long way to make people feel safer on public transport.
Transit Safety Division’s Acting Superintendent Philip Green said there were now 143 PSOs working at 18 train stations across metropolitan Melbourne.
“The feedback we’re getting from commuters and members of the rail industry continues to be very positive,” Inspector Green said.
The deployment of PSOs is based on a number of factors such as how busy the train station is and the amount of reported crime and antisocial behaviour.