Police using hoods to stop spitting offenders

  • 24/06/2016

Police officers are using 'spitting hoods' to protect themselves from offenders who use saliva as a weapon of choice.

In the last two years, 130 officers have reported being hit by spit-fire. About half of those hit were so worried they sought medical advice.

While a punch from an offender could result in a bruise, saliva carries a range of diseases and can be especially dangerous when it hits the eyes or the mouth.

Police Association President Greg O'Connor has been spat at. He told Paul Henry it's pretty nasty.

"A lot of it happens when we're getting people into patrol cars -- they’ve got nothing else, we've got them constrained, got them handcuffed and they’ve got nothing else. All they’ve got is spit," he says.

"It's when we're trying to grapple with people, trying to restrain them, that's when usually it will happen, and these body fluids will start to get exchanged.

"We have the hood. It's another in a range of things we have. Because we've now got the taser and the pepper spray, we can police at a little more distance."

The mesh hoods are designed to go over an offender's head to prevent them from sending any germs flying.