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View from the Chairman

Police officers in Hampshire will be issued with spit guards to protect themselves

Following consultation, a decision has been made to roll out spit guards to all frontline police officers across Hampshire and the IOW. I have been campaigning for some time for spit guards to be issued to all of our frontline officers. I'm pleased that the Chief Constable has made this decision. It will add to the work Hampshire has been doing to support officers and staff who have been the victim of assaults. Since April 2016, 126 assaults involving spitting have been recorded by our officers.

Being spat at is a vile and dangerous act which is a growing issue for our officers. Often it is not just saliva but blood that officers need protection from. These guards must be available to every officer across the country, not just a select few. Officers must have the equipment to protect themselves.

I know there are some who have concerns that the police will be using these guards but I would remind them that spit guards will only be used on those who spit at officers and pose a risk. If they don't want a spit guard to be used on them then my advice would be don't spit!

I want to put on record my thanks to our Chief Constable, Olivia Pinkney for making this decision. The Chief has listened and has acted in the interests of her officers.

This is the right decision. It will help to protect our officers, they deserve nothing less.

John Apter
Hampshire Police Federation
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