The Mayor has put the Metropolitan Police use of spit guards under consultation without any adequate alternative or safety precautions, said Tony Arbour at today’s policing and crime committee.
Today the Met Commissioner said the only alternative to protect officers from serious infection involves the use of force against a spitting individual.
The Commission also confirmed that officers have been made seriously ill from spit and that when an officer is spat on they have to receive unpleasant and costly medical attention.
The British Transport Police are currently using spit guards in London.
Tony Arbour, Conservative London Assembly Member for South West London, said:
“The Mayor’s unnecessary public consultation on the use of spit guards will needlessly put officers and the public at risk.
“Without spit guards, that are already in use by other forces in London, the Met’s only alternative when an individual is spitting at them is force.
“The motivations behind this second public consultation are dubious, as the Mayor has close connections with the main organisation contesting their use.
“The Mayor playing politics with spit guards will risk injury of the police and public.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan ordered a Met consultation on spit guards on September 6th, even though the Metropolitan police have already consulted on them. At a session of Mayor Question Time, the Mayor claimed he was not approached on the use of spit guards and discovered this only when he saw the Met press release.
Sadiq Khan was a former chair of the organisation Liberty which put out a press release on September 6th against their use.