London Police Planned Use Spit Hoods Put On Hold
6 Sept., 2016
After wide public protest, Scotland Yard announced it was putting on hold its intention to employ the hoods at 32 detention facilities in London but not on London streets or in public.
The hoods, which are classed as a use of force, hit the headlines when officers from British Transport Police were filmed using one on a man at London Bridge station in July.
“The Metropolitan Police Service has listened to concerns and will consult further before starting any pilot,” the force said.
Martha Spurrier, director of human rights group Liberty said: “A spit hood is a primitive, cruel and degrading tool that inspires fear and anguish.
“We have seen many cases where the police use them unnecessarily and without justification, including on children and disabled people. “Police have the power to use force against citizens when they have to – using handcuffs, arm restraints, leg restraints, pepper spray, batons. “The suggestion that officers need to be able to cover people’s faces and heads is as far-fetched as it is frightening. “Spit hoods belong in horror stories, not on the streets of a civilised society – we urge the Met Police to think again.”
The Met [metropolitan Police] has stated the hood is considered a “use of force” and that officers were being trained to use it only when necessary.