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Spit guards: an update

Leicestershire Police Federation chairman Tiff Lynch has met with senior officers to put forward members' overwhelming support for the introduction of spit guards across the Force.

A survey of more than 1,700 Federation members showed 96 per cent of those responding wanted the guards added to their personal protection kit. "Once we had seen the survey results we arranged to meet senior officers to discuss our members' views," says Tiff.

"The meeting was very positive. We discussed the answers to all of the questions we posed to our members and the findings will now be further discussed by the chief officer team. We will keep officers updated and let them know as soon as we have any firm response."

The Force will liaise with Leicestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach with discussions likely to include the possible design for a spit guard to be used in the county.

A total of 27 of the UK's 49 police forces already use spit guards but various designs are in use.

Calls for the wider roll-out of spit guards are part of the national Police Federation's Protect The Protectors campaign which seeks greater security for officers and stiffer punishment for those who assault them.

Halifax MP Holly Lynch (Labour) is fighting the cause in Parliament.

She said: "To assault a police officer is to show a complete disregard for law and order, our shared values and democracy itself, and that must be reflected in sentencing, particularly for those who are repeat offenders."