New data released shows that the UK has seen over 2,000 acid attacks in less than three years, with the majority of cases in London. Police officers have also been the victims of such brutal attacks.
Four police officers in West Yorkshire were attacked whilst one attack was also recorded by Devon and Cornwall Police in 2016 which saw the victim raped as well.
Within London, Newham borough in the east recorded the most attacks, with a total of 273.
Of the incidents which have taken place in London so far this year, 63% were accompanied by another violent crime such as sexual assault or burglary.
The average age of victims in London was 30, whilst the average age of suspects was 24-25.
According to the Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI) the UK has per capita one of the highest rates of acid attack in the world.
The number of attacks has been increasing rapidly, with only 228 recorded incidents in 2012 but it has seen a sharp increase up to 601 in 2016.
Speculation states that the gangs are switching from more basic weapons such as knives or guns to acid as it is harder to regulate and monitor.
Dr Simon Harding of Middlesex University told The Sun: “Acid was once a weapon of last resort but may now be the first. It’s used by gangs, if a business deal goes wrong or someone owes money. People can have a legitimate reason for having acid.”
1,000 ‘acid crime response kits’ have been distributed to London police and former Home Secretary Amber Rudd also announced plans to make it illegal to sell corrosive substances to children.
Acid attacks have skyrocketed throughout the United Kingdom and especially our Capital London, only last month a three-year-old boy was seriously injured by an acid attack in Worcester.
Campaign groups are urging the government to do more to bring down the number of acid attacks each year and to put legislation in place to prevent such attacks whilst deporting those responsible for them if they are non- UK citizens.
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