ACT Policing under pressure to stop use of spit hoods as another jurisdiction ends dangerous practice

Australian Greens

Queensland Police Service has announced that they will cease use of spit hoods, increasing the pressure on ACT Policing to follow suit. The move to immediately stop using spit hoods in Queensland follows widespread human rights concerns and campaigning across the country.

Queensland are joining New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian and Tasmanian police services in stopping the use of these inhumane, dangerous and degrading devices.

Despite the clear consensus against the use of spit hoods around the country, ACT Policing continues to defend their usage in the territory. The ACT Chief Police Officer recently revealed that officers are using spit hoods on children, and that the model used in the watch house is the same as one implicated in at least one death in custody.

Andrew Braddock, ACT Greens Spokesperson for Policing, said “Again I ask, why are ACT Policing using spit hoods when the majority of police forces across Australia have abandoned this inhumane practice?”

“Using spit hoods is counter to evidence-based standards of communication and de-escalation to resolve violence and aggression. These standards are used in every other clinical and correctional care facility across the ACT, and most of Australia. Protective screens, improved practices, and personal protective equipment like face masks and shields are affordable, accessible and effective,” said Mr Braddock.

“Queensland Police are satisfied they can protect their Police Officers with additional personal protective equipment (PPE), protective screens, and operational skills training. Surely ACT Police can investigate alternative measures?

“Police concerns and the dignity and safety of the Canberrans they serve can be reconciled with proportionate measures that do not risk life.”

“The Alexander Maconochie Centre, the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre and the Dhulwa Mental Health Unit do not use spit hoods, so why does ACT Policing?

“I am continuing consultation with relevant stakeholders before bringing forward legislation to ban spit hoods before the end of the year,” said Mr Braddock.

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