Police ramp up patrols on South Coast trains

Summer could see a doubling of police numbers on South Coast trains, said the superintendent of the region.

Detective Superintendent Bernie Ryan is in charge of the Police Transport Command (PTC) Southwest Sector, which includes the Illawarra.

Det Supt Ryan said that the Wollongong area "ramps up a little bit more in the summer months".

"The way the Illawarra is structured, there is the central point of Wollongong, so the outlying areas of Lake Illawarra and even the northern parts of Wollongong will move into the city to enjoy that entertainment hub.

"As the warmer months approach, Wollongong becomes a particular area we need to focus more on, as opposed to other times."

Det Supt Ryan said the PTC, which replaced transit police six months ago, uses police intelligence to work out where best to deploy officers.

"It's more targeted than just getting on a train and hoping to have an intervention with a particular type of problem," he said.

"So you might see a dozen police at the PTC Wollongong in the winter months, but you might see 20 of them [in summer] on Thursday, Friday, Saturday night, when we know there are people moving into the Wollongong entertainment hub."

Det Supt Ryan said the PTC had already had a big effect in its first six months of operation.

"The police you see attached to the PTC on the trains and buses are the same as those you'll be seeing walking down the street," he said.

"They are well-trained with all the police powers for moving people on who are causing a disturbance and having all the tactical options available to any police officer in the state of NSW."

Figures released last week show that the PTC made 1294 arrests and issued 16,274 infringement notices. In the southwest sector there were 500 charges laid for offences including assault, graffiti and malicious damage and 6193 infringement notices were issued.

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