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No change on Met spit guard policy

Home Secretary has said he'll raise the issue with Cressida Dick

There has been no change on Met Police policy towards spit guards since the Home Secretary lambasted chief constables who oppose their use.

At the Police Federation Conference in May, Sajid Javid told the force’s Federation branch chairman Ken Marsh that he would raise the issue of their non-use by frontline officers with Commissioner Cressida Dick.

He also said: “I can’t understand why any chief constable would put public perception before protecting police officers. I think it’s plainly ridiculous.

“I will do everything in my power to make this come about. If that means mandating them maybe that is what I will do.”

But in a statement this week, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said: “Spit and bite guards have been in use in all custody suites across the Met since July 2017, following an initial pilot of their use in a number of custody suites in north east London.

“Discussions with partner organisations, community representatives and independent groups about how and where to implement them in the Met were undertaken at the time.

“We continue to monitor the use of spit and bite guards in the Met and will be pleased to discuss their use with the Home Secretary.”

Met Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh said: “We need spitguards, I want to protect my colleagues.

“The only way you’ll come into contact with a spit guard is after you’ve spat at one of my colleagues.”