London police charge boy following acid attacks
British police said on Saturday they have charged a 16-year-old boy with 15 offences following a spate of recent acid attacks in London.
The charges include grievous bodily harm, possession of an item to discharge a noxious substance, and robbery.
The boy is due to appear before Stratford Youth Court on Monday, London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
On Friday, British police arrested two teenagers after five acid attacks against moped riders in less than 90 minutes across east London on Thursday left several people with facial burns, including one with horrific injuries.
Food delivery companies Deliveroo and UberEATS said two of their couriers had been attacked.
“We can confirm that one of the victims of these attacks had been taking food to a Deliveroo customer,” a spokesman said.
“We are in touch with the rider and will be providing him with support.”
UberEATS said it was shocked by the attack. “We have been in touch with the courier and offered to help him and his family in any way we can,” said Toussaint Wattinne, General Manager of UberEATS in London.
The company thanked all the couriers who rushed to help in the immediate aftermath of the attack.
Food delivery riders, on both cycles and mopeds, have become a common sight in London and other cities in recent years.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the number of acid attacks appeared to have risen in the capital, though they remained relatively rare.
“I don’t want people to think that this is happening all over London all of the time – it’s really not, but we are concerned because the numbers appear to be going up,” Dick told the LBC radio station in an interview.
“Acid attacks are completely barbaric,” Dick said. “The acid can cause horrendous injuries. The ones last night involved a series of robberies we believe are linked.”
The government said it was working with the police to see what more could be done to stop the use of acid for attacks.
“It’s already an offence to carry acid or a corrosive substance to cause harm,” Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokeswoman said. “We are working with the police to see what more we could do.”