Victoria Police arrested hundreds in Australia after at least six officers were sent to the hospital due to injuries sustained trying to contain thousands of demonstrators protesting against the lockdown policies in Melbourne on Saturday.

According to The Guardian, the Victoria Police said in a statement that the "majority of the estimated 4,000 demonstrators 'came with violence in mind.' "

"The behaviour seen by police was so hostile and aggressive that they were left with no choice but to use all tactics available to them," the statement continued.

This latest round of COVID-19 related protests took place after Victoria's premier announced lockdowns already in place in Melbourne would be extended across the entire state in response to an "uptick" in cases.

The Melbourne protests took place after Victoria's premier, Daniel Andrews, announced a lockdown in place across Melbourne would be extended across the entire state. Across the Victoria population of nearly seven million people, public health authorities recorded 77 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday.

Some 700 extra officers were deployed to address the protests. Two officers suffered broken noses, one was hospitalized with a broken thumb, and several others were sent home with concussions. Victoria Police used non-lethal tactics, including pepper balls and pepper spray in an effort to maintain order.

218 protesters were arrested and are expected to be fined for a breach of the state's public health orders. Three demonstrators were arrested for assaulting police officers. "Further investigations will be conducted into offences committed during the protest including the assault of numerous police officers and the use of flares."