Melbourne is so proud of its ‘most livable city’ title but recent figures show that violence and violent crime is rising fast on the city streets.
Figures for 2016, released last month from the Crime Statistics Agency, show that reported crime went up by 10 per cent last year, but that violence and assault rose by nearly 12 per cent.
Melbourne’s public transport system hasn’t been immune from the rise in crime – posing particular problems for students getting to and from university and getting to shift work. isn’t safe from it’s own violent outbursts.
One victim of assault on public transport tells his story and how it has affected him since.
Josh, 18, said: “I was catching the train home after a night in the city with my friends and what happened was, while my friends had stepped out of the carriage for a couple of minutes, some guy had just come up to me and asked for my phone and wallet which I said no to and then he proceeded to basically beat me up and take it anyway. There were no major injuries, just some bruises, a black eye and a swollen lip.”
Josh then went on to talk about his experiences after the attack.
“After it all happened I told my family what happened, they were worried about what had happened and were ready to call police but I didn’t want to pursue it any further just because I didn’t have any of my bank cards in my wallet but also out of fear I think.
“It made me feel weak because there was nothing I could have done, he was bigger and taller than me and I felt like there was nothing I could do. I had been drinking that night as well which didn’t help the situation. But, in the following weeks I found it hard to get out of the house, even going to work was a huge source of anxiety for me as I was always paranoid about everyone about me or even seeing the guy who attacked me again.”
Josh has gotten over the incident, but is still very cautious when catching public transport.
These fears of public robberies extend past public transport and exist in the minds of those most fearful.
The question then becomes what is being done by the Police and those in charge of safety on public transport to keep these acts of violence in check and to ensure that they do not continue.