Attacks involving acid and other corrosive liquids have soared by nearly a third in the UK in the last two years. Running against the grain of a global rise in acid attacks mostly against women, the UK’s acid attacks are mostly perpetrated against men. A total of 242 people were either injured by or threatened with harmful substances compared with 186 in the previous 24 months. Sulphuric acid, drain cleaner, chromic acid solution, ammonia and patio cleaner were among the substances used in the assaults recorded between 2012 and 2015.
The British Government needs to look into this subject with far greater seriousness to understand why these attacks are occurring and what can be done to prevent them occurring. The Colombian government is taking action due to a huge public outcry which in turn led to changes in the law including tighter control on sale of acids and tougher sentencing of attackers.
While it is virtually impossible to ban the sale of all corrosive substances – as many are household products, including for example bleach and drain cleaner, and are readily available over the counter at DIY and pharmacy stores, as well as supermarkets – it is possible to dissuade perpetrators by the imposition of life sentences and cut down on this heinous crime out of fear of sentence.
The victims of acid attacks are sentenced to life by their disfigurements.
So should the perpetrators be reminded of their callous actions for the rest of their days on earth.
While the Tory-DUP coalition is in power, it should take the opportunity to pass through the house necessary and popular legislation such as life sentences for acid attackers, higher sentencing for dog thieves, help for farmer depression and a drive for rural broadband – measures which will glide through parliament with thumping majority votes. Make this five years of good, alongside a successful Brexit. The people will thank you for it.