Sydney Times


Members of the AFP put their lives at risk every day to protect the community.

Written by Aksel Ritenis

Members of the AFP put their lives at risk every day to protect the community.

Friday, 14 April 2023

These members are fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, brothers and sisters.

Police are the community and the community are police.

The community needs to have confidence in police, and the AFP does not take for granted the trust the public places in our members.

Last year, concerns were raised about the use of spithoods by the AFP. The AFP subsequently initiated a review of the use of spithoods, including whether the use of spithoods was a reasonable and proportionate response against individuals who assault police officers by spitting saliva or blood.

The review found that even though spithoods were only used on limited occasions by ACT Policing, and not used at all across the broader AFP, they were not sufficient to prevent transmissible diseases.

Police always need to ensure reasonable force is used against individuals who are assaulting law enforcement.

The review found the risk of using spithoods outweighed the benefits of their use, given they are ineffective in protecting against transmissible diseases.

The AFP, which includes ACT Policing, has stopped using spithoods, and is providing equipment and implementing procedures to better protect members from spitting and biting.

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About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

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