Five men suffer life-changing injuries in grievous London acid attacks, as London police thwarts multiple terror acts.
Police has arrested two underage boys on suspicion of using corrosive liquids to cause grievous bodily harm. Police has linked five attacks on Thursday night, which took place over a 72-minute period. Five men were attacked in London acid attacks, with one man suffering life-changing facial injuries.
London acid attacks have been on the rise lately, with the British government being urged to treat attacks involving corrosive substances in the courts more harshly than stabbing. In addition to throwing acid into the victims’ faces, the suspects also stole mopeds from delivery drivers, some of whom became the victims of the horrific attacks.
At least four of the five London acid attacks on Thursday night involved the two suspects driving around the British capital on mopeds causing grievous bodily harm to innocent Londoners. Police is looking into whether delivery drivers were targeted by the suspects.
The latest spike of incidents involving criminals using corrosive liquids as weapons in robberies and other violence comes as Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick has revealed on Friday that at least five terror attacks have been thwarted by London police in the last three to four months.
London Acid Attacks: ‘New Trend in the UK,’ Met Police Warns
The two suspects, a 16-year-old and 15-year-old boys, drove around London on Thursday night, attacking people with corrosive liquids in Islington, Stoke Newington and Hackney. Police on Friday arrested the moped drivers, who stole mopeds in two incidents over the 72-minute period. One of the five incidents involved a robbery.
An eyewitness told the BBC he had heard one of the victims of the horrendous London acid attacks “screaming in pain,” and that the victim suffered “life-changing injuries.” The deplorable attacks, which Commissioner Dick slammed as “completely barbaric” just hours after the attacks came to light, come as London acid attacks are on the rise.
Police is becoming increasingly concerned about the dangerous choice of weapon for many criminals in London, as the number of assaults involving corrosive liquids in the British capital has more than doubled since 2012.
Since 2010, there have been a whopping over 1,800 reports of assaults using acid in London alone. Last year beat the record number of corrosive substances-involving incidents, as acid was used in 458 assaults, up from 261 in 2015, according to a report released by the Metropolitan Police Service in March.
UK Police Prevents Multiple Terror Attacks
Commissioner Dick was quick to react to the shocking spike in London acid attacks, and called on radio on Friday morning the acid attacks “completely barbaric,” adding that corrosive liquids can “cause horrendous injuries.” She warned the nation that using acid in crimes has become “a new trend in this country,” adding that it is too easy for people to obtain acid.
Commissioner Dick pledged, however, to take the volatile situation under control, as she said she was working with the Home Office to adopt stricter measures to prevent people from getting hold of corrosive substances so easily. Many people in the U.K. are urging the government to treat acid attacks harsher than stabbings, as the long-term harm for a victim that suffered an acid attack is far worse than that of a stabbing.
Despite the police’s struggles to prevent the rise of London acid attacks, Commissioner Dick revealed that Met Police has prevented five terror attacks, some of which were just minutes away from being carried out, over the past three to four months. In the wake of a series of deadly terror attacks in the past months, police has beefed up anti-terror measures across the nation.
Commissioner Dick said despite the brutal attacks on Westminster Bridge, at Borough Market and the van attack in Finsbury Park – which claimed the lives of more than a dozen people combined – the death toll could have been much higher.
London Acid Attacks: from Personal Disputes to the Streets of London
Police continues investigating the horrendous London acid attacks on Thursday night, as the media is awaiting an update on the extent of the five victim’s injuries. One of the suspects, a 16-year-old boy, was arrested on Friday and is held in custody at an east London police station. Another suspect, a 15-year-old who’s believed to be the second moped driver, was arrested hours later.
The deplorable attacks that seemingly targeted moped drivers come several days after The Hackney Gazette reported that many local delivery drivers are afraid to work in some areas of London after 9:30pm because of robbery fears. The latest spike in London acid attacks is likely to attract fears from delivery drivers and Londoners returning home late, at least until the U.K. government makes it more difficult for people to purchase corrosive acids.
Corrosive substances have been commonly used by men against their wives or girlfriends to resolve personal disputes for decades, but now criminals are turning to acid as their weapon to carry out robberies and other gang-related violence in the British capital. It is also not uncommon for perpetrators to use corrosive liquids in racially motivated London acid attacks.
UK Parliament to Debate Acid Purchase and Use Next Week
The U.K. parliament is expected to debate the issue of rising acid attacks in the country on Monday, July 17, at the request of Labour MP Stephen Timms. The London borough of Newham, which is in Timms’ constituency, accounted for about a third of last year’s 458 assaults involving acid.
Timms issued a statement calling for the U.K. parliament to act against the increasing trend of acid use just hours before Thursday’s London acid attacks took place. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today, Timms echoed his concerns about sulphuric acid, adding that carrying a bottle without justification should be treated the same as carrying a knife.
“Simply walking around the street with a bottle of sulphuric acid, that should be an offence,” Mr. Timms said. The U.K. parliament is due to debate the issue on Monday.