#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 22 June 2021
Advertisement

ICCL calls on Gardaí to stop using 'humiliating' anti-spit hoods after NI Policing Board report

Since the start of the pandemic, anti-spit hoods have been used 118 times by Gardaí.

A police officer in the German city of Heilbronn in northern Baden-Württemberg puts an anti-spit hood on a mannequin.
A police officer in the German city of Heilbronn in northern Baden-Württemberg puts an anti-spit hood on a mannequin.
Image: DPA/PA Images

THE IRISH COUNCIL for Civil Liberties (ICCL) is repeating its call for An Garda Síochána to stop using anti-spit hoods, which it called “humiliating”.

The Northern Ireland Policing Board has today released a report calling on the PSNI to stop using them, which Amnesty Ireland has welcomed.

Amnesty said that it had warned that police using spit-hoods could increase the risk of infection for police officers, as well compromise the health of those suffering breathing difficulties as a result of the virus.

The NI Policing Board and the ICCL have both argued that their use may constitute a form of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and that they should never be used on children.

Anti-spit hoods are full mesh hoods that are placed through force over the entire head of a person in Garda custody. An Garda Síochána conducted a review of the use of anti-spit hoods, which the ICCL is asking to be published immediately.

Since the start of the pandemic, anti-spit hoods have been used by An Garda Síochána 118 times, with a report by the Policing Authority stating:

  • They have been used 6 times on children under the age of 18,
  • 16 times on people with obvious signs of a mental health issue
  • once on a person who appeared to have obvious signs of a learning disability, and
  • 74 times when the person appeared to be intoxicated.

In 100 incidents they were used on males, while the remaining 18 were used on females.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Policing Authority Source: Policing Authority

ICCL’s director Liam Herrick said:

The practice of hooding has no place in a modern police force, particularly one that is undergoing significant reform to place human rights at the centre of everything it does.

“Hooding has long been considered a form of inhuman treatment, and when other factors are in place, a form of torture.

While Gardaí must be provided with proper PPE to protect them from the risk of contracting Covid-19, there is no evidence that hooding suspects provides such protection.

The ICCL also called for specific guidelines on the right to protest during the coronavirus pandemic, and called on Gardaí to facilitate peaceful protest and counter protest “in a consistent and fair manner”.

About the author:

Read next:

COMMENTS (46)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel