Police Officers on the front line have been told by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner that they WILL NOT be allowed to use spit hoods on detainees / violent prisoners who want to spit in the face of Police Officers, despite the fact that the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid supports their use.
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, has stunned front line officers in the Met by saying that the spit hoods should only be used in custody suites and not during arrests.
This is despite the fact that diseases such as hepatitis B can be spread through saliva.
A statement on the Metropolitan Police Federation’s website said:
“The Metropolitan Police Federation has urged police officers in London to report each and every time they are spat at – to show just why a wider roll out of spit guards is required.
“The Federation said evidence of the dangers officers face from spitting – and the frequency – is required to help convince the Met Commissioner Cressida Dick to issue them to the utility belts of all police officers in London.
“Being spat at on duty is a disgusting assault,” said Metropolitan Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh.
“Anecdotally we know it is happening too often but we need to be able to take the evidence, the numbers, to the Commissioner.
“We need the hard facts.
“And we would urge all officers to report how often they are spat at on duty – even if it doesn’t make contact with you. We need to show how big this problem is.”
The recently appointed Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has BACKED calls for spit hoods and bite guards to be issued to all frontline officers across all forces in England & Wales.
At the moment, the British Transport Police and Essex Police both allow spit guards to be used whilst detaining a potentially violent prisoner who is intent on spitting in the face of Police Officers.
Gracie Bradley, Advocacy Manager for Liberty has said: “spit hoods are degrading, dangerous and have been linked to deaths in custody, and a robust case for their use has not been made.”
Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist told the BBC: “Spitting and biting is a particularly unpleasant form of assault which rightly generates a lot of concern amongst officers.
“Over a number of years the Met has been looking at potential ways of minimising the threat this issue poses to officers and staff. One of the options that has been considered is spit and bite guards.
“We continue to monitor the use of spit and bite guards in the Met and are working with the Met Federation about encouraging police officers to report when they are spat at so we ensure we have accurate records of this.”
The Met Police Federation Chairman, Ken Marsh, added:
“It’s absolutely horrific to be spat at.
“My colleagues deserve as much protection as we can give them. They don’t in any way deserve to go to work and be spat at.
“We must issue them spit guards across the force to protect them from this disgusting act.
“So many officers across the country now have spit guards at their disposal and there is no reason why officers in London should not.”
In 2016, a Ukranian Police Officer DIED after she contracted tuberculosis after being spat on by the man she was trying to arrest.
Any Officer who has been spat on will tell you the sheer horror, anguish and distress which they have to endure after being spat at by a violent and aggressive prisoner as they have to get rushed to hospital in order to be given anti-viral drugs.
Many a time did I witness my former colleagues being spat at as they tried to detain a violent suspect and the look of horror on their faces, not knowing if they had now contracted a potentially life-threatening disease, as they were rushed to hospital will always stay with me.
Why anyone would deem it fit not to issue police officers with spit hoods, an important tool to protect themselves against a potentially life-threatening disease, is beyond comprehension.
The drugs which are prescribed to Police Officers who may have contracted a disease having been spat on are horrendous enough, with truly horrific side effects.
And yet, the one tool that can prevent the brave men and women who are serving on the frontline of London’s fight against crime, spit hoods, are NOT to be given to front line officers?
Why issue them to custody staff but not to front line officers? You either want to protect your officers from the saliva of prisoners who are carrying life-threatening diseases or you don’t!
Oh wait, in custody the public cannot see violent prisoners who are spitting everywhere wearing on of these spit hoods……
The fact that Officers now have to ‘accept’ being spat at in order to log the event in the hope that, if the numbers are high enough, then they might be issued with spit hoods is, quite frankly, a disgrace.
I guarantee you that the Met Police Commissioner has NEVER been spat at, or at least, has never had to wipe the spit of someone who has hepatitis from her eyes.
Just like I am certain of the fact that most members of Civil Liberty groups, such as ‘Liberty’ have never been spat at.
How would these people, who think that spit hoods should not be used, feel if their loved one came home and told them that they had contractrated a potentially life-threatening disease having been spat at whilst at work?
I am, quite honestly, shocked at this utterly absurd decision that has been taken by Cressida Dick.
The Met Police Commissioner had always been regarded quite highly by most men and women who serve in the Met.
But this decision that, in effect, is unnecessarily putting her officers at a greater risk at a time when they are having to work on their rest days during a time of heightened security, is abhorrent.
If I had a member of my family who was in the Met and who ended up contracting a disease after being spat at, then I would probably considering taking legal action against the Commissioner for failure of a duty of care!
There is absolutely no reason as to why spit hoods should not be issued to front line officers. There is absolutely no justification for exposing your officers to the risk of contracting a potentially life-threatening disease just to appease people who sit in the safety and comfort of their officers all day.
At the end of the day, If you do not want a spit hood placed on you during an arrest, then the answer is REALLY simple:
DON’T SPIT AT POLICE OFFICERS
To anyone who thinks that spit hoods should not be used, I say this:
Would YOU want to have to wipe the spit of someone who has a potentially life-threatening disease from your eyes!?
Of course you wouldn’t! So why do YOU think that Police Officers should be exposed to the risk just because YOU think that someone is “degraded” when put in a spit hood?
Is the act of spitting in someone’s face not MORE degrading than having a spit hood put on someone in order to prevent them from spitting on a police officer!?
This common-sense-defying decision REEKS of political correctness and of appeasing a very small minority of individuals who have a very loud voice. It’s a disgrace. Our brave officers should be afforded as much protection as possible.
What kind of message does this send out to the type of person that will spit in the face of a police officer?
That it’s “ok” to spit at a police officer because your self-respect is more important than the welfare of a police officer? That, in order to preserve your (lack of) dignity, a police officer will just have to endure being spat at?
Let us know what YOU think either in the comments below or by emailing our team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In particular, we want to hear from you if you are in the Met Police and have had to go on a course of antiviral drugs having been spat at. We have also contacted the Mayor of London’s Press Office in order to get a response from the Mayor – we will keep our readers posted.