Queensland and the Northern Territory are the only jurisdictions who still use spit hoods, which have been labelled “torture devices” by the UN.
During Estimates Hearings with the Queensland Police Minister and Police Commissioner today (3 August), Greens MP Michael Berkman asked how many times spit hoods have been used in police watch houses since 2019, including on children aged between 10 and 17 years old, and for what durations of time.
He also asked if the government will ban the use of spit hoods and restraint chairs, as other jurisdictions have done.
The Police Commissioner and Minister advised that they are working with the Children’s Commissioner to make alternative restraint and force options available for young people.
They confirmed spit hoods were used on 20 young people over the past 7 years, eight times since 2019, and none in the last 7 months, but did not answer:
- How many times spit hoods were used on adults in that same period
- Whether the Government will ban spit hoods and restraint chairs
“According to the UN, spit hoods are torture devices. The Labor State Government needs to ban them.
“You can offer alternatives all you like, but until you get spit hoods out of prisons and watch houses they can still be used on children and adults, and they will be disproportionately used on First Nations people.
“South Australia waited until these torture devices killed someone to ban them. Let’s not wait for another death in custody before we act here in Queensland.”