Proponents, often including police unions and associations, say the spit hoods can help protect personnel from exposure to risk of serious infection like hepatitis and that in London, 59% of injecting drug users test positive for Hepatitis C.
The spit hoods have been criticised for breaching human rights guidelines and critics call the hoods primitive, cruel and degrading. Some British police chiefs privately expressed concerns that the hoods are reminiscent of hoods used at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. A decision by the Metropolitan Police Service in London to start using spit hoods was condemned by the human rights group Amnesty International, the civil rights group Liberty and the campaign group Inquest. Many major British police forces have chosen to outlaw spit hoods.
The use of spit hoods and restraint chairs at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in the Northern Territory, Australia were part of the reason for the establishment of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.
- Vikram Dodd. "Met police to start using spit hoods on suspects within weeks", The Guardian, theguardian.com, 6 September 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
- The Centre for Public Safety. "Spit Guards: The case for protecting police officers against infectious diseases". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- Hunter, Fergus (27 July 2016). "Malcolm Turnbull calls royal commission into youth abuse at Northern Territory's Don Dale detention centre". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 July 2016.