NIGEL NELSON ROB GRANT
Liquids could be classed as poison
HOUSEHOLD cleaners containing acid could become as hard to buy as poison in a bid to halt attacks.
UK home secretary Amber Rudd will review whether corrosive liquids should be covered by the 1972 Poisons Act. For the most dangerous substances shoppers would need a licence to buy and stores a licence to sell – as happens now with nitric acid.
Shopkeepers would have a legal duty to call a police hotline if they are suspicious about a customer.
Ms Rudd, who will set up a Whitehall committee to probe the crimewave, said: “It is vital that we do everything we can to prevent these sickening attacks.”
Proposals include making buyers show proof of age – as a fifth of attackers are under 18.
Purchases may have to buy by card, so buyers can be traced.
Carrying acid is likely to carry a maximum jail term of four years.
New statistics obtained by the Sunday Mirror reveal 1,375 attacks nationwide since the start of 2015.
But the toll is likely to be around 2,000 as only 29 of 44 police forces provided data. Attacks doubled in the four years to 2016 with a 48% increase between 2015 and 2016.
Labour MP Stephen Timms, who will lead a debate in the Commons tomorrow, said: “It’s an excessively high number.
“There is a serious wave of fear in my constituency among people who feel it just isn’t safe to walk the streets any more. It is clear from the scale of it that we need changes in the law.”