Disclosure Details

Spit hoods - 934/16

Dated: 21 Sep 2016

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act') 

Thank you for your e mail dated  22 August 2016 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police. 

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions. 

You asked:

I should be grateful if you would confirm whether any of your officers are authorised to use ‘spit hoods’, ‘spit guards’ or similar devices as described at pages 82 and 83 of Module 4 of the ACPO Personal Safety Manual. 

(a) If some or all of your officers are authorised to use a spit hoods please provide copies of:

(i)  Your equality impact assessment(s) concerning the use of spit hoods;

(ii) Guidance and training documents issued to officers concerning the use of spit hoods;

(iii) Minutes of meetings at which the use of spit hoods was discussed;

(iv) Risk assessments regarding the use of spit hoods;

(v)  Internal and external correspondence regarding the use of spit hoods. 


(b) If none of your officers are authorised to use spit hoods please:

(i)  Confirm the rationale for this position and provide any documents recording the same;

(ii) Provide any documents which were considered in the course of reaching this decision e.g. risk assessments, expert advice, etc;

(iii)Provide minutes of meetings at which the decision not to authorise the use of spit hoods was discussed;

(iv)Provide documents detailing training provided to your officers on the techniques they should employ to mitigate the risk of spitting;

(v) Internal and external correspondence regarding the decision not to use of spit hoods. 


We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention. 

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is not held by Northumbria Police. We have not considered the use of spit hoods therefore we hold no information at any point of your request. 


Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes. 

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose. 

You may be interested to know that Northumbria Police routinely publish information via the Disclosure Log.  The aim of the Disclosure Log is to promote openness and transparency by voluntarily placing information into the public arena. 

The Disclosure Log contains copies of some of the information that has been disclosed by Northumbria Police in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 

Whilst it is not possible to publish all responses we will endeavour to publish those where we feel that the information disclosed is in the wider public interest. 

The Disclosure Log will be updated once responses have been sent to the requester.

I have provided the relevant link below.


How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure.

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.