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Hello and welcome to South Today, I'm Laura Trant.
The top stories this evening: Protection for police.
This is a barbaric form of treatment of the individuals and is not safe.
And the exchange in the Commons over Surrey county council's decision
to drop a referendum on a 15 per cent increase in Council Tax
Two of the South's police forces are to equip all front line officers
They can be placed on offenders to prevent them spitting
But their use has been condemned by human rights organisations,
and rejected by some other police forces.
Here's our Home Affairs Correspondent, Emma Vardy.
A third of police forces across the UK have used spitguards.
Now, for the first time, officers from
Hampshire and Thames Valley will all carried them on duty.
We have seen instances where officers have had
Not only is it a disgusting and vile thing to do,
but actually puts them at risk of infection.
So we have looked at the evidence available and
had national advice that says we should look
to issue spitguards to
Over the past ten months, officers from the two forces
have reported being spat at more than 400 times.
I speak to police officers who have had to go through
medical processes to make sure they have not
Is there a danger putting a hood on someone's head could potentially
Police officers will understand and closely monitor
And a point at which they stop spitting, the spitguard
But there is disagreement over whether they
The Metropolitan Police have been consulting on
whether to introduce spitguards, but a pilot last year was cancelled
after London mayor Sadiq Khan voiced concerns.
And Kent Police decided against their use after considering
the impact on a person having a spit guard placed on them.
There can be fallout for police if they are
deemed to have been used inappropriately.
Last year, the Independent Police Complaints
Commission found there was a case to answer
against Sussex Police when a
spit guard was used on an 11-year-old girl, with a condition
Now, London is trialling them in just a small
number of custody suites, but along with other
forces such as Dorset, will routinely be giving them to
Health do not use spitguards, the prison
service do not use them and nor do Northern Ireland.
As soon as you start restraining people on the
head, accidents happen and people could get seriously injured and
Police say suspects will be told why a spitguard is
being used and when their behaviour changes, it will be removed.
Earlier I spoke to the Sussex MP Tim Lougton, who's
on the Home Affairs Select Committee.
He believes spithoods protect police officers.
And Kevin Donaghue, a lawyer for a firm that specialises in cases
against the police who thinks they are dangerous
I started by asking him what his main concerns are.
They're just used in isolation, but with other forms of restraint such
as being handcuffed, that would be a certainty. Or being placed in a
prone position on the floor, for example. That can raise issues of
position asphyxia, leading to brain damage and potentially death. This
is a barbaric form of treatment of the individuals and it is not safe.
There should be other options explored to protect those officers.
I can see you shaking your head, you obviously disagree. You exploring
strict protocols under which these strict protocols under which these
spitguards can be used. It is alarmist language and Mr Donahue has
used the word barbaric twice and tried to imply that there are loads
of people who are dying all around the world because of the use of
these spitguards. That is absolute nonsense. It is a proportionate and
balanced measure for those who will not come quietly, who will not
behave in a civilised way and would put the health of our police
officers, doing their job, at risk. That is an acceptable. Timmer, do
you think you may be rushing into this? Two thirds of police forces
are not using them, including greater Manchester and Metropolitan
Police. It is an operational matter for individual forces to decide if
there is a case for them to use them. Frankly, if Mr Donahue as a
problem with it, and we must remember comedy makes money out of
taking cases against police and getting awards of public money for
his clients, then it should come up with some better suggestions. With
the greatest respect, Tim is the elected MP and he is in charge and
he is mistaken, in fact, misleading people by saying the police have to
follow strict guidelines, they do not. Bred the national police chief
's cows all have issued guidance for the use of these spitguards. There
is no excuse for not allowing our police to take proportionate
measures to defend their officers measures to defend their officers
going about their normal duty subject this completely barbaric and
an acceptable behaviour by people being apprehended. Thank you both.
"There is no deal with Government, there never was.
Those are the words of Surrey Council's leader
to claims that he'd been offered a deal by the Government in exchange
for dropping plans for a 15% council tax increase.
Labour's leader Jeremy Corbyn told the Commons he'd seen leaked text
messages that he said proved there had been a secret agreement.
Our Political Editor Peter Henley reports.
The labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, started
with a question about social care to the Prime Minister,
venting his information concerning mis-sent texts.
You will be contacting me to discuss a
There are clues from the start that the
I understand you want to chat, he says.
Hi, David, I haven't specifically asked to speak to you.
I am advised that DCLG officials and my director of finance have been
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury is looking at the
proposals, now are you in the picture?
In the final text, David Hodge reverts to code, the numbers
you indicated the numbers understand our unacceptable
How much did the government offer Surrey to kill
this off and is the same sweetheart deal on offer to every council
facing the social care crisis created by her governments?
I have made clear to the right honourable
gentleman what has been made available to every council, which is
It was a tough moment for Theresa May and this afternoon,
Surrey County Council put out a statement denying any deal and
saying the decision to call off the referendum was theirs alone.
It hasn't stopped other councils asking for the same deal
Surrey has some of the highest council tax
Also, some of the tightest Budget pressures.
And some of the most influential MPs in
Government, Jeremy Hunt, Philip Hammond, and in David
Hodge though, it had a determined and forthright council leader
leading the team just seeming to emerge victorious
Threatening a referendum on a 15% rise then settling for
He wouldn't say exactly what though, but he hinted he had come
Today, one simple mistake, pressing the wrong
button on the phone, something we have probably all done, seems to
That was our political editor Peter Henley.
A children's nursery owner in Hampshire
who was jailed in 2015 for tax and National Insurance fraud
has been told to repay nearly one million pounds.
Michael Scott ran two branches of Pixies Day Nursery
He was jailed for five-and-a-half years for keeping the contributions
Fresh talks aimed at ending the long-running strikes
on Southern Railway will be held next week.
The RMT union, which represents conductors, has held 25
The drivers' union, Aslef, has done a deal with the company
to operate more services without a second member
Drivers are currently voting whether to accept it.
We're back tomorrow with bulletins in BBC Breakfast and there's more
Now Alexis has our latest forecast, and it's feeling chilly.
Tonight, temperatures are hovering around freezing and may drop below
it. We could have patchy frost with cloud, but under the clearing skies
you are more likely to see frost. Mainly dry through the evening and
overnight tonight. And tomorrow morning. Tomorrow daytime, there's a
risk of a wintry showers, sleet or snow. That is delay breeze will take
the edge of temperatures. Highs tomorrow of 2-6 C. Feeling why 3-4,
given the wind-chill. That will stay with us into Friday and through the
weekend. Friday will be similar to tomorrow, more of a chance of a
wintry showers, especially after Darwin to bridge starts to fall. We
drag in a bitterly cold air from the near continent. The colder and the
cloud will stay with us. Bright as polls on Friday, but once again, the
risk of a wintry shower. Also over the weekend, on Saturday, that is
the coldest day this weekend with a raw wind.
cloudy and Ben Rich will take you through the bigger picture.
Good evening. Over the next few days I suspect it's going to feel like we
have been plunged into the deep freeze. Cold weather on the way and
not necessarily crisp cold weather, with blue skies. A lot of cloud,
there was some sunshine today across parts of west Wales, for instance.
That lifted temperatures up to 11. But further east as you can see from
the picture, there was a lot of cloud feeding in and that