A 15-year-old boy was arrested after a suspected acid attack in London on Saturday night (September 23). The youth was detained on suspicion of GBH (grievous bodily harm).
Multiple emergency services responded to reports of a “noxious substance” being thrown during a fight between two groups of males inside Stratford Shopping Centre.
The Metropolitan police said the attack was not being treated as a terror-related.
Life changing injuries caused by acid
London has seen as surge in acid attacks. The Acid Survivors Trust has called for the regulation of acid sales.
Chief Superintendent Ade Adelekan, Borough Commander for Newham, where the incident took place, said:
“I recognise the lasting impact on victims of corrosive substance attacks. Our response to such attacks is continually improving through training and joint working with partners and we are working with the Home Office to explore possible restrictions around the sale of corrosive substances in conjunction with retailers and manufacturers.”
Surge in acid attacks
In July, a 16-year-old boy was charged with 15 offences following a spate of acid attacks in London. The charges include GBH, possession of an item to discharge a noxious substance, and robbery.
Also in July, two teenagers were arrested after five acid attacks against moped riders in less than 90 minutes across east London 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.
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 LBC Radio 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 British 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.”