Page 1421 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022

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The ACT Policing Watchhouse maintains the central storage of spit hoods which can be distributed to Patrol Sergeants across the ACT. As at 12 April 2022, there are approximately 100 in stock at the ACT Watchhouse.

Spit hoods can be used by ACT Policing to prevent a person in custody from spitting at or biting officers, which protects officers from the transmission of communicable diseases and sustaining other serious injuries.

A number of considerations are given before any type of restraint is used on a person in custody. These considerations include the safety of the person in custody, the safety of others (including other persons in custody), threats made to expel bodily fluid, recorded history of spitting, aggressive or threatening behaviour, the likelihood of injury to any person and the circumstances of the incident.

Spit hoods used by ACT Policing are considered safe when used in accordance with the instructions. Any person in custody who is issued with a spit hood is personally accompanied by an AFP officer and monitored. Once they are placed in a holding cell the spit hood is removed.

The operational use of a spit hood is governed by the AFP Commissioner’s Order 3 on operational safety and as such is subject to the scrutiny that Commissioner’s Orders deliver of such matters.

Mental health services—spit hoods use
(Question No 744)

Mrs Kikkert asked the Minister for Mental Health, upon notice, on 8 April 2022:

(1) Do facilities such as Dhulwa and the Adult Mental Health unit maintain a stockpile of spit hoods; if so, how many do they have.

(2) In what situations would staff of these facilities use a spit hood.

(3) When was the last time staff of these facilities used a spit hood on a person.

(4) Do these facilities have any limits on who it can use a spit hood on.

Ms Davidson: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

1) Dhulwa Mental Health Unit and the Adult Mental Health Unit do not use spit hoods.

2) As per answer 1.

3) As per answer 1.

4) As per answer 1.

Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—spit hoods use
(Question No 745)

Mrs Kikkert asked the Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, upon notice, on 8 April 2022:

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