Police say a crackdown on fare evaders and concession cheats on NSW buses, ferries and trains will help them fight more serious crime.
The Police Transport Command and NSW Transport Officers have launched a joint operation targeting those who abuse ticketing systems or commit anti-social crimes on public transport networks in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle.
The six-month Operation Javelin will involve 550 enforcement officers and target fare evasion hotspots including Blacktown and Liverpool train stations in Sydney’s west, northern beaches bus routes from Manly and Dee Why to Mona Vale, and buses from Central station to the eastern suburbs.
“It’s about making it fairer for all,” NSW Police Transport Commander Max Mitchell told reporters on Wednesday.
“What the general public and commuting public will see over the next six months will be police working alongside transport officers – really targeting those areas known for high-level fare evasion, crime and anti-social behaviour.”
Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said a large number of those caught cheating the public transport system turned out to be wanted on bench warrants or in relation to other crimes.
“One in five people who haven’t got a ticket will be identified as having been wanted for various crimes,” he said.
NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said public transport users who did not pay their way stripped millions of dollars from the system each year.
She has also warned the operation would include plain-clothes officers.
“People who are intending to do the wrong thing shouldn’t think that because they don’t see anyone in uniform, there’s not actually people around that can come down on them,” Ms Berejiklian said.