Asia-Pacific

'He's just a child!': Bystanders angry at 12-year-old boy's arrest in Victoria

Four Victoria police officers pin down 12 year old boy as witnessed raise concerns about excessive use of force (YouTube 'ViralHog') Source: YouTube 'ViralHog'

The treatment of a 12-year-old boy by Victoria Police officers near a train station in Bendigo has attracted criticism.

Victoria Police say its officers used "reasonable" force against a 12-year-old boy who was dramatically arrested at a Bendigo train station.

Vision captured by a mother who witnessed the incident shows the boy sobbing and crying as he's pushed face-down on the ground by the four officers.

Bystanders - including the woman filming - can be heard urging the officers that the boy is just a child and criticising the level of force used.

"That is ridiculous, you're not going to hurt my members or me, okay?" an officer says.

"All I f***ing did…," the boy says, audibly crying.

"Shut up," the officer responds. "You had your opportunity."

A bystander implores the officers that he's just a kid.

"He's a kid?" an officer replies.

"Yeah, do you know where he was? He was running around the roof mate - he's got autism so you don't understand," he continues.

"My child has autism and if police handled my child like that," the woman replies.

"We can’t let him kick people and we can’t let him stand on top of the railway station where he’s going to hurt himself," the officer responds.

Victoria Police have since refuted the officers’ claims the boy had autism, saying they had spoken with his family.

In a statement, Victoria Police said they would interview the boy at a later date.

"Police attended at Bendigo Railway Station on Friday 6 October following a report of Criminal Damage to property just before 7pm," the statement said.

"Members arrested a 12-year-old boy during which he resisted arrest and reasonable force was used to execute the arrest.

"No injuries were reported as a result of the arrest. The boy was transported from the scene into the care of his father."