Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
Nick Ferrari's Row Over Police Spit Hoods Got VERY Fiery
23 October 2018, 07:52
After Met Police officers asked to be allowed to carry spit hoods, Nick Ferrari held a debate over if they should - and it got very heated.
A poll for the Metropolitan Police Federation found 95% thought all frontline officers should be issued with the mesh hoods, which are placed over a suspects head if they spit at an officer.
They are currently used in custody suites and by the British Transport Police, but Commissioner Cressida Dick has resisted calls for them to be used.
Simon Wooley from the Prime Minister's Race Disparity Audit Advisory Group believes this will exacerbate problems between the black community and police.
But Ken Marsh, the Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, told him it was nothing to do with that - they simply want to provide officers with the tools to keep them safe.
And, as Nick Ferrari pointed out, if they don't spit, they won't have to wear a spit hood.
What followed was a huge row over whether the introduction of spit hoods would be appropriate.
A Met Police statement on spit hoods read: "Commissioner Cressida Dick introduced spit-guards to the Met with a successful pilot in December 2016 leading to their London-wide role out across custody suites in July 2017. This was in recognition of the duty of care to provide protective equipment to officers and staff in circumstances where being bitten or spat at may be prevented. Since then they have been used successfully and safely in the controlled conditions of custody on a limited number of occasions. Each use of a spit-guard is supervised and subject to proper justification and subsequent scrutiny.
"The Met welcomes the survey by the Federation into officers' experiences of spitting and biting, and members views on spit-guards. The survey shows that far too many officers are being spat at and bitten, and too often they are not recording this. The Met and Federation both share the view that this is completely unacceptable.
"The survey doesn't ask details about the circumstances of the spitting incidents. We want and need to understand more about how many of these instances could be prevented, as spit-guards should only be used once an officer or member of staff has already been spat at and therefore do not stop officers being spat at on the first occasion.
"We will now be working with the Federation, experts, other forces and communities to establish more information about how we could further prevent officers and staff from being spat at outside of custody. We will be reviewing what the best methods and equipment to protect officers from being spat at are."