As 2019 starts to ‘settle down’ after the Christmas and New Year festivities, there is still one big elephant in the room (if you are in the Met Police): Spit guards – where are they?
Here at Emergency Services News, we have long-campaigned for front-line response team officers to be given access to the only ‘tool’ that can prevent someone from spitting in your face.
There are some people out there, who seem to think that being covered in spit is a ‘part of the job’. Well, it isn’t.
And what about the individuals who decide to spit blood at a police officers face, knowing that they have a contagious disease?
How are front line officers supposed to protect themselves against such a threat to their personal safety?
Imagine having to be put on 6 months worth of medication, with all of their horrendous side effects, just because some vile person decided to spit on you?
Just think about the mental & emotional toll that this would have on not only you, but on your family as well.
Even though it’s 2019, the irony is that, as a police officer on a response team in the Met (and some other forces) whilst your colleagues in the City of London Police and your colleagues in the British Transport Police are ‘allowed’ to use spit guards, you (currently) aren’t.
However, custody officers (out of the view of public) are allowed to use spit guards.
And this is why so many people believe that not allowing response team officers in the Met Police to have spit guards is politically motivated.
Why else would officers back at the station be allowed spit guards, but not officers out on the streets?
As a prime example of the challenges being faced by Met Police response team officers, one Police inspector shared the following tweet:
I am sure that it will only be a matter of time before a response team officer in the Met ends up contracting some sort of contagious disease after being spat on by someone.
The question will then be asked as to why response team officers weren’t allowed to use spit guards.
But for the officer who ends up contracting a disease, it will be too late.
It’s time for the ‘politically correctness’ to be put where it belongs: in the bin
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First attempt to spit should be answered with a taser. Warn them first if you want, but let everyone know that it’s going to happen.