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Techie1

Legal bid to ban spit guards launched

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Techie1

Firm argues that the devices are not necessary or proportionate.

spitguard.jpg

Solicitors are seeking a complete ban on spit guard use by police in England and Wales.

Police Oracle can reveal lawyers from Irwin Mitchell have launched an application for judicial review against all deployment of the equipment.

They argue the National Police Chiefs’ Council should have halted use of the devices following the review of a 2012 case in which a disabled 11-year-old girl was hooded and put in leg restraints by Sussex Police.

The IPCC criticised the force in a report about her treatment last year.

Yogi Amin, an expert civil liberties solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, said: “A number of police forces in the UK, including large forces such as the Merseyside Police and West Midlands Police, do not allow officers to use spit hoods on adults, let alone children with significant disabilities.

“The IPCC’s findings following its investigation into the treatment our young client received at the hands of Sussex Police indicate a clear need for improvements in the way the force responds to disabled children and a full exploration of the policy on spit hood use – including the risks and alternatives – within all forces by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

“The police, of course, do a difficult and important job and it is right that they should have the equipment they need, but hooding someone is a serious decision.

“Hooding children is a step too far, particularly in the absence of clear evidence that these devices are necessary or a proportionate means of protecting officers bearing in mind the alternative safe strategies available.” 

The solicitors want alternatives to be introduced which "protect officers rather than restrict detainees" a spokeswoman added.

West Midlands Police is currently exploring whether to introduce the equipment, Chief Constable Dave Thomson told the Police Federation Conference in May.

Chief constables were informed of the application for judicial review a few weeks ago and a QC from the Met Police’s legal team was assigned to provide an initial response.

This website understands that the NPCC intends to fight the case, and expect the Police Federation and College of Policing, as well as spit guard manufacturers to become interested parties in the proceedings.

In May, NPCC chairman Chief Constable Sara Thornton told PoliceOracle.com evidence was being gathered to support the guards’ deployment.

Che Donald from the Police Federation said: “It is not right that officers get assaulted. Over half of police forces in the UK are now utilising spit guards in one way or another and there isn’t anything else that protects officers in the same way.

“If you don’t spit you won’t have to wear one. And if there is not a spit guard and someone is spitting at a police officer, the officer is going to have to use physical force - which is more than likely to be on the head - and causes far more risk."

He added nothing else is as effective and practical as using a spit guard.

The case has emerged just after the Met, the biggest force in the UK, rolled-out the use of spit guards in all of its custody suites.

The force said that an earlier, limited, trial of the equipment had been “successful” although it did not explain how it arrived at this conclusion.

In a statement on the extension of its use, a Met Police spokesman said: “The Met has a duty of care to its officers and staff - the issue of spitting and biting is a real problem and a particularly unpleasant form of assault which rightly generates a lot of concern amongst officers.

“Aside from the fact that as an employer the Met cannot expect its staff to be spat at, or think this is acceptable, some of the follow-up treatment required after such an assault can be prolonged and unpleasant.”

View on Police Oracle

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Cathedral Bobby

They might think differently if someone gobbed in their face, but the haven't so frankly they are not interested in what officers face, just the needs of their treasured clients whose antisocial delinquent behaviour fills their coffers to overflowing. :16_EmoticonsHDcom:

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NCFPA

Typical, one incident where it went wrong is brought up, what about all the hundreds of police officers having to be blue lighted to hospital and wait 6 months for results. These solicitors are on the same wave length as those who went after the Iraq soldiers, pure money making exercise. Key words - police, force, failure = £££££

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Indiana Jones
56 minutes ago, Techie1 said:

The solicitors want alternatives to be introduced which "protect officers rather than restrict detainees" a spokeswoman added.

Are they able to advise what this alternative might be? Pixie dust delivered by winged unicorn perhaps.

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Cathedral Bobby
30 minutes ago, Indiana Jones said:

Are they able to advise what this alternative might be? Pixie dust delivered by winged unicorn perhaps.

Probably consists of police officers on bended knees pleading for forgiveness for their intolerable behaviour in wanting to suppress self-expression (better known as thuggery and loutish behaviour), brought on by the necessity to show their anger at the social injustices of the fascist police state.

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JulietAlpha1

Why shouldn't we restrict detainees? They don't seem to understand that if people don't kick off, fight, spit, punch, run etc., then the custody process is surprisingly easy for them and they are literally walked through. No leg restraint, no hoods on heads, no ground restraint or takedowns.

If you try to run or fight then obviously you will be taken down and restrained appropriately. If you then calm down, the restraint will be revised.

If you spit, you will have a hood put over your head. If you don't, you won't.

It really isn't rocket science.

Edited by JulietAlpha1
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Cathedral Bobby
5 minutes ago, JulietAlpha1 said:

It really isn't rocket science.

You're right but it is a money earner for legal beagles as they defend the rights of the criminal fraternity to be free from justice and accountability :smileys-police-186663:At the end of the day they wouldn't need to wear spit hoods if we would just leave them be to get on with their lives of care free thuggery, deviance and anarchy.

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SimonT

This is one reason why children are stabbing each other to death on our streets, robbing people at knife point and throwing acid in faces. 

The police have the job to stop these things and scores of people lineing up to try and stop them doing it. And those people are listened to for some reason. 

A spit hood was put on a child who was spitting, the ipcc didn't like it, ergo ban all spit hoods. Why not, let's ban anything that could upset someone committing a crime. Police should just wear full face masks, preventing spit and acid issues. Job done. Everyone happy, other than police and victims and society. 

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Beaker

<sarcasm>
Can the lawyers from Irwin Mitchell pay for my HepC shots then?  Maybe help my out with buying some arm guards?

</sarcasm>

Edited by Beaker
typos

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Growley

"Bearing in mind the alternative safe strategies available"

What alternative safe strategies? Because in my experience the only alternatives tend to be bending someone up so they can't spit at you, or striking them as they attempt to spit. Neither of them are safe; depending on the amount of resistance offered, either method can result in serious and potentially permanent injuries.

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Hyphen

The issue here is bigger than spit hoods, I agree with @SimonT post.

The problem is we pander to anyone and everyone no matte how ignorant or biased they are. I just don't understand it. People are being brought up now and conditioned to challenge every ounce of authority. There is a message that police should be challenged, it's okay resist arrest if they feel in the right or are a 'child' no matter what the nature of the offence. Not to mention the restrictions on stop search and arrests.

Its frightening really what things will be like in another 5-10 years.

It has to reach breaking point somewhere where people in positions of power stop listening to the utter nonsense. 

As with various threads on different kit, the police need the kit and policies to help prevent and detect crime and safeguard people. Simple as that really. If a criminal hurts themselves or others due to THEIR criminal or reckless actions then they should be dealt with for it. Full stop. Not dragging officers through the mill for it. If a criminal spits at an officer and had a spit hood placed on them then who cares? No one cares about their objections. The same applies to pretty much any situation. As long as the actions are lawful, justified and proportionate then tough luck if someone is 'offended'.

The liberal crazy obsession with peace and love and the sheer naivety of the vocal minority as actually doing more harm than good to our communities and it needs to stop.

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Cathedral Bobby

Irwin Mitchell are yet another example of ambulance chasing lawyers. I wonder if they will be flying out to Iraq to drum up cases of spit hood use during the Iraq war. There will be method behind their madness.

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Zulu 22

Has Yogi Amin, an expert civil liberties solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, ever been spat at by anyone, and if so how did they feel?

What happens if a assailant spits in the face of an Officer? perhaps Community Order or less.

What would happen if an officer spat in the face of a prisoner? The officer would, rightly, be hounded, and prosecuted and dismissed, so why not the same for an MOP who spits at an officer?   

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MajorDisaster
23 hours ago, Indiana Jones said:

Are they able to advise what this alternative might be? Pixie dust delivered by winged unicorn perhaps.

TASER?  no need to restrain if they are lying on their back, twitching after being zapped!

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