Spit guards to be introduced in all custody suites

Spit guards to be introduced in all custody suites

Spit guards will be trialled at all custody suites in London from this week.

An initial trial in custody suites in north east London, so the Met has decided to roll out the trial across the force. 
 
The force says it has discussed these plans with partner organisations, community representatives and independent groups, as well as magistrates.
 
The force described spit guards as "an effective, proportionate and necessary piece of equipment when deployed correctly and with appropriate supervision".
 
A 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.
 
"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 guards. Spit guards are a nationally approved piece of police personal safety equipment and are already used by 22 forces across the UK.
 
"The initial pilot for the use of spit guards was in five custody suites in north-east London. After this trial, the Met has assessed that is appropriate to expand the trial of spit guards to all custody suites across London. 
 
"Officers have been trained in the use of spit guards and the decision-making around their use will be closely monitored by senior officers with an analysis of this data and findings being reported into the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime."