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Introduction of spit guards and limb restraints to help protect officers

The City of London Police have announced the roll-out of spit guards and limb restraints to all of their frontline officers.

The introduction of these protective equipment items was first agreed in principal by the force in November 2018.

As of Tuesday 2 April 2019 frontline officers who have received the required training will be authorised to carry and use these items.

So far 177 officers have been trained in their use, with another 223 expected to receive the training by the end of May.

The items are only one of many tactical options officers can use to protect themselves and the public when dealing with violent individuals.

The introduction of spit guards and limb restraints comes at a time when officer assaults are on the rise, as well as violent crime in general.

In the last three months alone in the Square Mile, the City of London Police recorded 66 assaults on officers of which 17% involved an officer being spat at.

These protective equipment items should be deployed in conjunction with body worn video and all instances of their use will be recorded, monitored and assessed. A senior police officer within the force will review all the data every three months.

Chief Superintendent Glenn Maleary, of the City of London Police, said:

“The safety and security of our police officers is a priority for the City of London Police. We believe officers should have the necessary and appropriate equipment to do their jobs.

“The purpose of issuing these protective equipment items is to allow our officers to apply the minimum force when protecting themselves and the public during the detention of violent suspects who could pose a threat of assault or risk of infection.

“Assaults, including instances of spitting, can take police officers off the streets for weeks and sometimes even months at a time. As crime continues to rise, we can’t afford for this to happen.”

Mike Reed, Chair of the City of London Police Federation, said:

“The City of London Police Federation recognise the importance of spit guards and leg restraints in keeping our members safe whilst they carry out their duties in an increasingly more violent environment with less officers to call on.”

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