Protecting Londoners' human rights (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
September 14, 2017
Question By: 
Len Duvall
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Len Duvall AM:  Mr Mayor, this is an important question and I thank the Green Group for asking it.  Do you accept, Mr Mayor, that the human rights legislation works both ways and that public-sector employees, police, transport operators and all, should also not have to go about their duties being spat at in some way?  The use of hoods, if it is monitored, if it is done correctly, is also around protection of those carrying out their duties on behalf of us. 


Answer for Protecting Londoners' human rights (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Protecting Londoners' human rights (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Can I just say?  The reason why I am frustrated with that question is because, look, I answer more than 100 questions at MQT.  I am happy to do so, but you cannot ask flippant, short questions without allowing me a chance to answer the question.  You are right to remind us that we have to look after our police officers, just like we look after our firefighters, making sure they have the equipment and the tools to do their job.  Of course, there have to be checks and balances, and the police would be the first to say there have to be checks and balances.  They recognise they have certain rights you and I do not have. 


The reason why we paused before spit hoods were used is because we wanted to make sure there was consultation, so nobody was taken by surprise.  A custody officer or a police officer in a custody suite who decides to use a spit hood does it in exceptional circumstances.  When you think of the number of people arrested and who go through a custody suite, the number on whom a spit hood is used is very, very small.  For somebody to, from that, extrapolate that there is discrimination against black women is unfair on our police.  I am determined to give our police the tools they need but I will defend them if unfair allegations are being made against them and that assertion from the Assembly Member was unfair.