Thursday, 13 July 2017

I'm Confused, Don't Police Have Human Rights Too?

Like, the human right to be protected at work?
A decision to extend a trial use of spit hoods to all police custody centres across London has been labelled “primitive” and “extreme” by a human rights charity.
And 'It's about bloody time' by everyone else.
The force said it consulted with “partner organisations, community representatives, independent groups and magistrates” before taking the decision.
But human rights charity Liberty accused the police of trying to “quietly” implement the hood “with no public debate and no published evaluation”.
The public don't care, frankly. They don't like getting spat at, so they totally understand the need for the police to protect themselves.
The mesh hoods are put over the heads of detainees who are considered at risk of spitting at officers and possible passing on contagious infections.
See..? It's that 'elf & safety, Liberty, innit? What are you gonna do?
Martha Spurrier, Director of Liberty, said: “The police do an important job, which is why they are able to use necessary and proportionate force.
“Spit hoods are neither – they are primitive, cruel and dangerous.
“There have been far too many cases of their use against children and disabled adults, causing huge fear, humiliation and even suffocation...”
Who, in the UK, has ever suffocated in one of these things?


MTG said...

There's no doubt that spitting and public 'service' is a contemporary problem; made all the more complex by Human Rights issues. Plod oral hygiene and mouth control is generally abysmal (usually exacerbated by H. pylori infection) but to be quite honest I don't wish to speak to any of them if they refuse to wear a spit hood, Julia.

Anonymous said...

Come on down Melvin, the door is wide open for your policing expertise.

Woman on a Raft said...

It depends on how much you trust the police to use them correctly.

How about as a way of intimidating a pensioner who has been accused of public order offences? Very tempting to say that if you have an old man about whom a complaint of hate speech has been made, then the undisguised contempt in which he holds the political structure makes it likely that he might spit at them, the current embodyment of that political structure. And maybe he would. But then again... what better way to physically intimidate him in order to stop him expressing views rather than spittal, and to terrorise anyone else who might be thinking of saying certain things in public.

Once upon a time I would have agreed with you automatically, but now...dunno.

DJ said...

I can't be the only one having a flashback to that Blackadder episode where he's the Chief Executioner, right?

"Your husband may not be as you remember him"

"What have you done you monster?"

"We have put a bag on his head"

Meanwhile, given that Liberty are so disturbed by the prospect of people being forced to put a bag on their head, when's their statement coming out condemning the Burka?

Antisthenes said...

Causes which are many and increasing that are dubious and sometime downright pernicious which in fact are most have this propensity to put forward absurd, hypocritical and illogical arguments in favour of their causes that meet with much approbation. This being yet another one. Pointing to the fact that the intellectual abilities of great swathes of the population is very low indeed. No doubt shortly we will see the ultimate result of this phenomena as Jeremy I love jihadists and IRA terrorists, Marxist philosophy and hate Trident, democracy and Jews Corbyn will be swept into No 10 on the back of the popular vote.

Ed P said...

It's unfortunate that some of the cultural diversity we now enjoy includes habits unknown in the UK until recently, like spitting and defecating in public.

Perhaps if the police run out of mesh hoods, they'll use plastic bags, then the Liberty muppet might be correct about suffocation.

Anonymous said...

Spit hoods are also expensive. My local Aldi sells large clear plastic food and freezer bags which will do the job just as well. Plus they come with these neat little plastic covered metal ties.

Anonymous said...

Trying to keep it sensible. I joined the police in the mid-70's and spitting was not a problem - it just didn't happen and spitting at a police officer was quite rare. I would imagine it was because things would get a bit 'robust' if it did happen. Fast forward to the 80's and I was a custody officer at a very busy South London nick, again, we had some nasty pieces of work come through the door but again very little spitting, quite a bit of fighting though. A lot of the people I dealt with were truly evil and most of you lot would need clean underwear if you encountered them. As my career moved on I noticed a few changes - the TSG were being used for cell relocation more and more and 'dirty protests' i.e. smearing the cell with faeces was common. I never encountered that in my time as a custody officer.
Who was doing the spitting and smearing? in the part of London I worked in it was mainly our very own home grown white underclass. I'm sure the demographics vary from place to place but remember the old bill don't write immigration policies, they only deal with their aftermath.
What I would say I have seen is a complete loss of inhibition by people, for a lot of people a police officer is probably the only person who has said 'no' to them in their lives and meant it. It's not my fault if you want to behave like a thirty five year old toddler but just don't expect to be treated with any respect. I've also noticed that people are being arrested for offences that you would expect middle aged people to have grown out of. Carry on taking the easy way out and blaming the police for wider societal failings - they're usually the only ones on the street at 3.00am.

Anonymous said...

I've worn one during training. They are lightweight and made of breathable material. No-on will suffocate using them.
I've got a suggestion to the scum out there-don't spit at me and I won't make your wear a spit-hood. Can't say fairer than that.
I'm sure MTG disagrees.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing it out, Jaded. Most of us were unaware of the suffocation risk at noon.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear MTG, I made a spelling mistake. You must have rushed to the keyboard like a Scouser on benefit day to correct me. Well done. You're my hero.

Northish said...

Spitting at a Police Officer should be regarded as assault and the use of tasers authorised. As soon as word gets about that being a disgusting p.o.s results in a great deal of debilitating pain, it will stop being a regular thing.

Reading Retired's account of how civilised even criminals used to be, makes you realise how far this society has fallen. If it was up to me, having a dirty protest in a cell would result in withdrawal of food until the cell was cleaned up by the person who made the mess.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say 'civilised' would be a way to describe them, it's just that some things just didn't occur in the past as much as they do now. What I would say is that we have seen a gradual loss of the inhibitions that used to ensure daily life was relatively civilised. There is no sense of shame anymore so if you have no sense of shame then deliberately soiling yourself in police custody is no great thing.
As I said it was different times, they weren't a golden era, there never has been one as far as I'm concerned.