Friday, October 31, 2014

Community Safety Metro Trains Ticket Inspectors Excessive Force on Schoolboy Investigation Herald Sun 16.10.14 & The Age 16.10.14 Pedestrian Safety

Metro investigates excessive force claim after ticket inspectors arrest schoolboy at Windsor railway station


Student busted
METRO is investigating after its TICKET inspectors were accused of using excessive force to pin down a private school boy at a station in Melbourne’s southeast yesterday morning.
Footage of the incident, captured by witnesses and posted on YouTube, shows the 15-year-old being held down by the arms by two transit OFFICERS at Windsor Station about 8.30am.
The boy can be seen on the video kicking his legs and shouting “I’ve done jack-s — t alright”, “f---ing get off me” and “let me stand up” while being held for more than three minutes.
The OFFICERS tell him he had “resisted arrest” and “been presented as a risk to us”.
Metro ticket inspectors apprehend a student at Windsor railway station. Picture: Supplied
Metro ticket inspectors apprehend a student at Windsor railway station. Picture: Supplied/Youtube
It is alleged the boy tried to evade the OFFICERS three times after refusing to present a valid ticket or give them his name and ADDRESS.
On the first escape attempt, the teen reportedly began searching through his backpack as if looking for identification before running and jumping a FENCE, dropping his backpack in the process.
He was forced to return to the station to collect his bag, upon which he was again questioned by the officers.
The teen then allegedly became increasingly aggressive and fled again, this time dropping his wallet while trying to get away.
He then came back for his wallet and finally presented an OFFICER with his myki card.
The officer began taking down the boy’s details when the boy reportedly snatched the myki and notepad.
He was then placed under arrest and detained by the officers.
Police were called in to assist and eventually took over from the ticket inspectors.
A young witness told Channel 9 he had seen the teenager try and jump the fence.
“(The officers) pulled him back. They were holding him and grabbing him,” the witness said.
“I think they took it too far.”
Metro CONFIRMED it was looking into the incident.
“As with any incident where an arrest is made, we will conduct a review of the incident to determine if the officers acted appropriately,” it said in a statement.
It is not the first time Metro ticket inspectors have come under fire for their TREATMENT of fare evaders.
Footage emerged in December last year of a 15-year-old girl being body slammed by an inspector at Flinders St Station after she allegedly hit the officer in the face.
Last October, ticket inspectors were also forced to restrain an aggressive commuter at Melbourne Central station.
The 23-year-old man was held to the ground and could be heard yelling “get off me”.

Metro Trains officers under fire for using force on schoolboy

Anna Prytz October 15, 2014

Metro Trains' authorised officers have come under fire for using excessive force to detain a schoolboy at Windsor station.
In a video posted on YouTube, two male officers can be seen pinning the student by his arms over a low wall on Wednesday morning.
The boy can be heard shouting "f---ing get off me", "let me stand up" and "what are you trying to do?" while flailing his legs in an attempt to get free.
The officers refuse to let him up saying he had "resisted arrest".
Witnesses said six to eight other officers were watching the incident.
The man who recorded the video, who chose to remain anonymous but identified as a 32-year-old professional, said the officers' behaviour was an "absolutely disgusting use of force".
"There's nothing this kid could have done to deserve that kind of force," he said.
"He was only about 15 or 16, he didn't have a weapon and it just seemed to be about a myki."
Another commuter, Alex Rodgers, 23, said the surrounding crowd was visibly distressed and asked the officers to stop.
"You could see he was physically in a lot of pain so everyone was just pleading with them to let him up," Mr Rodgers said. "It's unacceptable that they can treat people like that."
After about 10 minutes police arrived on the scene and the boy was released.
Another witness told Fairfax Media the boy was interrogated by six to eight officers, and ordered to "give his name and birth date and details of his address in full earshot of the packed platform".
"He yelled out [that he was born in] 1999 … It was pretty rough on the boy," the witness, who did not wish to be named, said.
The witness also said that when a "concerned person in the crowd - who had legal training - said to the police that they should inform the boy of his rights to wait until he had an adult present before talking if he wished to, he was told to 'keep out of it' and 'mind [his] own business' by a police officer".
"And the police... didn't question the actions of the PSOs at all yet they willingly vilified and intimidated the boy in front of a packed platform," she said.
Federation of Community Legal Centres Senior Policy Adviser Michelle McDonnell said complaints of excessive force by authorised officers and Protective Services Officers were becoming more common.
"It's happening to people more and more often," Ms McDonnell said.
"A lot of people actually have panic attacks because it's the first time they've had any negative physical interaction."
Ms McDonnell said a number of projects were underway to promote better skills for officers.
"Our focus is on providing training so that they have effective communication skills and treat people in a respectful and human manner," she said.
Metro said in a statement that "as with any incident where an arrest is made, we will review the incident to determine if the officers acted appropriately".

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