Officers of the Dorset Police Force will be issued Spit and Bite Guards (SBG’s) from the beginning of December in order to reduce assaults on staff and officers. According to Chief Superintendent Colin Searle, “The introduction of this kit is vital to support officer and staff safety. Biting and spitting is a vile act and the new SBGs will provide additional protection to help keep everyone safe.”
Having the right equipment to protect officers and keep them safe is important as assaults like biting and spitting have distressing implications on officers and staff. Chief Superintendent Colin Searle continued: “Dorset Police need to ensure the safeguarding of those in our care who need to be fitted with an SBG, with particular consideration of those who are vulnerable or with mental health needs. This included making sure any option had been robustly medically tested to ensure the safety of those in our care who may be in ill health.”
Dorset police will join 23 other forces that have deployed SBG’s for the protection of their officers and staff in detention and operational settings. The government has also sent out a clear message of its intolerance of attacks towards emergency workers by doubling the maximum penalty available for such offences.
Martyn Underhill, the Police & Crime Commissioner for Dorset, agrees with the chief superintendent’s decision. According to him, “The principle that police officers and staff should not be spat at or bitten is beyond dispute.”