YEP Says: Police must have rights to protect their own safety

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FOR the benefit of human rights group Liberty, police officers would prefer not to wear spit hoods.

However, given the vile conduct of certain criminals, it’s an understandable precaution on the part of those constabularies that are looking to better protect their officers from illness.

The fact there’s far greater awareness about this issue, and the health risks that police face when they come into contact with saliva, is thanks, in no small part, to policeman’s daughter Holly Lynch, the MP for Halifax.

To her credit, she has repeatedly raised the issue in Parliament, not least after a criminal with hepatitis C was jailed for eight weeks last year for spitting in the eye of a police officer in West Yorkshire.

“If the answer is not spit hoods, it could again be tougher sentencing, but let us have that debate,” she said.

“Let us have it quickly and let us ensure officers on the front line are protected.”

It is certainly shocking that our officers have to put up with such attacks. Most law-abiding people will have no idea that such terrible attacks take place.

But they do happen and we should allow officers to take whatever reasonable precautions they can. Let’s hope that Liberty accepts that police officers have rights too – rights that should be upheld.