V/Line inspectors under scrutiny over 'heavy-handed' restraint

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EDITORIAL: Video footage not a good look at all

V/LINE is set to install CCTV cameras on all trains following an investigation into Authorised Officers' "heavy-handed" restraint of a 62-year-old passenger.

The training of Authorised Officers will also come under greater scrutiny after five officers were accused of using excessive force in detaining a man and dragging his pants down during a struggle at Sunbury station.

The 62-year-old man was travelling from Castlemaine to Melbourne on March 24 last year when he was kicked off the train for drinking alcohol.

Victorian Ombudsman George Brouwer slammed the response of the Authorised Officers in a report tabled in state parliament on Wednesday.

Mr Brouwer noted there "seemed to be no valid reason" for the Authorised Officer's "heavy-handed" actions.

CCTV footage from the station showed the man being forcibly restrained on the ground by his upper body, with his pants around his ankles.

"In my view it is clear that he was handled in a heavy handed manner despite being, as described by the police officer, a frail person," Mr Brouwer said.

"I am satisfied that unnecessary force was used on him both in his removal from the train and being held for nine minutes face down on the platform by the Authorised Officers."

The 62-year-old was eventually released without charge after police attended.

One officer told the Ombudsman's investigation the man had been "dealt with harshly".

He said he believed the tactics used by the Authorised Officers "far outweighed how a reasonable and fair person would expect to be treated".

V/Line has responded to the report and stated it welcomed the recommendation of installing CCTV cameras on trains. 

A trial of cameras fitted on a V/Line Vlocity train began in December 2013 and will run until June this year.

"The further roll out of CCTV on the V/Line fleet is dependent on the outcome of this trial and the promise of funding," the statement said.

V/Line has also accepted a recommendation to apologise to the passenger.

The Department of Transport has stated it will review training for Authorised Officers in terms of their use of restraints and arrest, and also in complying with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.

The Department of Transport said their investigations into the incident will continue.

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