Around 70 frontline officers are already trained in the use of this vital piece of protective equipment - more officers having access to this is welcome news. This news follows a successful trial in police custody, with the decision made to extend the use of spit and bite guards to help protect police officers and staff from the abhorrent and vile act of spitting and biting. It is expected that the guards will be in police vehicles initially, but if the need arises, they may become standard individual issue.
Mike Harrison, Chair of Gloucestershire Police Federation said: “As a Federation we welcome their introduction and feel all officers should have access to the necessary and appropriate equipment to do their job. We have worked with the force to ensure the roll-out takes place as quickly as possible and we are grateful to the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for agreeing the necessity for and deployment of the guards.
“We also hope that sentencing for offenders who commit such a vile act is reflected by the courts and treated with the severity it so deserves.”
Responding to this latest news, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) John Apter said: “This is good news and a decision I fully support. Gloucestershire Constabulary rolling-out more spit and bite guards will give our officers better protection - but we need to see all forces doing so. 40 forces have rolled-out this equipment to officers, including British Transport Police as well as Police Scotland.
“I would urge those few remaining Chief Constables who have not issued this invaluable equipment to do the right thing and give their officers the kit they need to protect themselves.
“Our officers do a tough job, they face violence day in day out, this equipment will help prevent them being spat at which is a vile offence. They need this kit, it’s not a nice thing to have its essential and we know the vast majority of the public support them having it.”