London Cops to Start Fitting Baddies With Muzzle-Like Spit Hoods

By Gary Cutlack on at

People arrested and held by police in London may soon find themselves wearing some sort of full-head muzzle, as London's Met Police has been given approval to put so-called "spit hoods" on any people they suspect might go berserk and try to bite them.

Aware that this might be seen as something quite inflammatory to do to people, the trial won't be used on the streets to begin with. 32 detention centres are the lucky hotspots where the face-blockers will be used first, with the test starting this October. If that goes well -- and why on earth wouldn't it? -- the system could then become part of the common police item list.

Also known as spit guards, the act of sticking one on an unruly customer is considered an act of force, hence those who might be given the job of zipping up a gobbing drunk are to be trained in its use.

A Met Police spokesperson said: "These guards will only be used in a custody situation. The use of this protective equipment is necessary to meet the duty of care owed to officers when a detainee spits at or attempts to bite them." [Guardian]

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