Should cops use

Sunday Sun - - News -

A PO­LICE force is us­ing so­cial me­dia to gauge pub­lic re­ac­tion to the con­tro­ver­sial use of spit hoods.

In what is thought to be a first for Durham Po­lice, it is car­ry­ing out a Twit­ter poll on whether it should start us­ing the guards which are used to pro­tect of­fi­cers.

The tweet says: “We would like your views on ‘Spit Hoods’ and the po­ten­tial for these to be used within force.

“A ‘Spit Hood’ is a re­straint de­vice in­tended to pre­vent an ar­rested in­di­vid­ual from spit­ting or bit­ing.

“Do you agree or dis­agree?”

With two hours on the poll left, 93% of the 1,200plus vot­ers were in favour.

One per­son replied: “I fully sup­port the use of spit hoods as of­fi­cers need pro­tect­ing from this dis­gust­ing as­sault.”

An­other said: “Peo­ple who dis­agree with us­ing these ob­vi­ously haven’t been spat in the face by some dirty low life crook! Spit­ting is de­spi­ca­ble! Hope the force starts us­ing them to pro­tect our of­fi­cers.”

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion last year found a third of forces used the mesh hoods.

Crit­ics say they are dis­tress­ing and hu­mil­i­at­ing for sus­pects and can cause panic.

They say the masks make more it dif­fi­cult for of­fi­cers to tell if some­one is strug­gling to breathe.

An in­spec­tor made the sug­ges­tion of us­ing a Twit­ter poll and Durham Po­lice agreed to try it.

A spokesman said: “We value views and feed­back

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