Use Of 'Spit Hoods' To Be Banned From All Queensland Watchhouses

Following in-depth review

Article heading image for Use Of 'Spit Hoods' To Be Banned From All Queensland Watchhouses


The Queensland Police Service have made the decision to cease the use of safety hoods indefinitely at all Queensland watchhouses.

The decision follows an in-depth review into the use of ‘spit hoods’ which were used to prevent offenders in custody from spitting at officers.

The hoods were used as a safety measure to avoid the spread of potentially harmful and transmittable diseases.

Safety hoods have been in action since 2009 and could only be used by especially trained police officers under supervision from senior officers.

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As part of the review, QPS looked into the frequency of use which added up to only 138 times between 2015 and 2022.

QPS also took into account the availability of PPE gear which helps to safeguard officers from potential dangers such as biting and spitting.

The review followed concerns from the Queensland Human Rights Commissioner and the Queensland Family and Children’s Commission over ongoing use of the hoods.

Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the decision to remove the hoods from circulation was centred around growing concerns from the community. 

“The QPS is committed to enhancing our practices to ensure we are delivering high quality policing services to the community we proudly serve,” she said.  

“We recognise there are community concerns around the application of safety hoods in police watchhouses and we undertook an extensive review of the issue before formally discontinuing their use."

- Commissioner Katarina Carroll

“While safety hoods served a purpose to protect staff, they were very rarely used in our watchhouses.  

“The QPS will implement a number of safety measures in watchhouses including increased PPE, additional protective screens and rolling out new operational skills training program for watchhouse staff.”

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Georgie Marr

20 September 2022

Article by:

Georgie Marr

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