National

More police patrols for Australian Open

By AAP Newswire

Protective Services Officers will patrol moving trams for the first time as part of increased security for Melbourne's Australian Open.

From January 14 to 27, more police and PSOs will be on the streets and at public transport hubs across the Melbourne CBD, Yarra and surrounding areas so thousands of tennis fans flocking from across the world can enjoy the event safely.

More than 20 PSOs at any one time will patrol trams including the route 70 tram which goes through Melbourne Park and on trains from 7am and past midnight.

"Generally they (tennis fans) are a well-behaved crowd and most people go to the event to actually enjoy the event," Assistant Commissioner Deb Abbott told reporters.

Laws were changed last year to allow PSOs on moving trams and trains and gave them expanded powers.

The PSOs will be able to arrest and intervene on the trams and won't be there just as a presence.

"They're targeting antisocial behaviour on our transport network as people are trying to get to events and enjoy them," Ms Abbott said.

Uniform and undercover police will also be patrolling the public and corporate spaces of Melbourne Park, while more officers will be on the roads to nab drink and drug drivers.

Last year US surgeon Edmund Pribitkin was left in an induced coma and required eight metal plates to be inserted in his face while his son Edik suffered a concussion and a broken nose after they were assaulted walking through the Queen Victoria Gardens after watching the tennis.

The 17-year-old who bashed and robbed them was sentenced to a 12-month youth supervision order involving four hours a week of counselling and other services.