The rate of acid attacks and other acid-related offences being committed in London has soared in recent years, while the average age of suspect for the crime has plummeted, with children now the most common age group attacking others with corrosive substances.
New statistics released by the Metropolitan Police reveal between 2002 and 2016, “violent offences” involving acid increased from 145 to 416 — a 186 per cent rise. These shocking figures are set to become even worse once 2017 levels are taken into account, however, as the Summer surge of attacks seen across the capital were at twice the levels seen during 2016.
There have been 739 total corrosive liquid related offences in 2017 so far, 411 of which were classified by police as violent. The remainder could include people being caught banned substances, or be using it to harass or threaten others, reports London’s Evening Standard.
In addition to the concerning rise in use of acids and other corrosive liquids to attack people in London, comes the revelation over the falling age of suspects, which sees children and teenagers as the most common age group for being involved in acid attacks. The average age of a suspect in 2002 was 27-years-old, yet in 2016 typical suspects were aged between 10 and 19.
London Police Find Violent Gangs, Acid Attacks, and Moped Crime ‘Linked’
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 9, 2017
The news comes just hours after a spate of new acid attacks in London. A 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm after an attack Thursday evening in Walthamstow, in which two males on a scooter approached a fast-food delivery driver and attempted to steal his moped — “repeatedly” throwing acid in his face in the process.
The victim is in a coma, having sustained life-threatening injuries, and will likely never see again.
Detective Chief Inspector Gordon Henderson, of Waltham Forest CID, said: “This attack has left a man fighting for his life and with terrible eye injuries. This was an innocent man going about his work as a delivery driver, who may never see again.”
Shortly after this attack, another took place in Tottenham, where another delivery driver had acid sprayed in his face. Police are investigating whether the incidents are linked.