Acid attacks rise 78 percent in London last year
Acid attacks in London have become something of an epidemic. Since 2012, acid attacks have risen dramatically across the UK, with the majority of those attacks taking place in London. Figures for acid attacks in London from 2016-2017 show that there was 208 incidents where a corrosive substance was used to inflict violence against the person in London. Of those 208 incidents, 38 caused serious injury and 1 was fatal. It was found that 118 of these attacks were linked to robberies in the city, 10 of these attacks committed in the commission of a robbery caused serious injury. 2 sexual offences were committed with acid being used as a weapon during the incident, one of these incidents was a case of rape.
In 2017, London saw the number of acid attacks rise once again. In 2017, there was 465 reported incidents of acid attacks in the capital. In information obtained under the Freedom of Information act it showed that those most likely to be targeted by acid attacks were younger people. 50 percent of the victims were aged between 10 to 29. Interestingly, where in nations such as Pakistan and Bangladesh acid attacks see women targeted the most often, in London the majority of victims are male. 351 people attacked with acid in 2017 were males. Most of the suspects are also males.
This news comes in the same week that injured moped driver Jabed Hussain has called for his attacker to be given life in prison. Derryck John, aged 17 from Croydon in South London attacked Mr Hussain in a string of attacks across North and East London last year. It is believed that Derryck John committed these attacks in an attempt to steal the mopeds of delivery drivers. The worst borough for offences of this kind was Newham in East London. There was 289 offences of this kind committed in Newham between 2015 and 2017.
The data involved in this issue seems to suggest that there are two components in play when it comes to establishing a pattern of this rise in acid attacks. Many of the perpetrators are young teenagers or men. It is believed that some gang members have switched to acid as their weapon of choice because it is less likely to inflict fatal injuries, resulting in a life sentence for the perpetrator while still inflicting devastating injuries to the victim. The gang element is certainly relevant when trying to find a reason behind acid attacks.
There is also a demographical component to be taken into account. Areas recently revealed to be “no-go zones” for acid attacks by delivery drivers can be used to draw a demographical connection for this spike in acid attacks. Areas listed included Stratford and Plaistow in the London Borough of Newham and Shadwell, Canning Town and Bethnal Green in neighbouring Tower Hamlets. Out of the 11 areas listed as “no-go zones” 5 are situated in two boroughs, Tower Hamlets and Newham. The demographic breakdown of Tower Hamlets and Newham paint their own interesting picture. 32 percent of the population of Tower Hamlets is Bangladeshi, and in neighbouring Newham, 30,307 people residing in the borough have Pakistani heritage, equivalent to 9.84 percent of the population and 37,262 people in the borough are of Bangladeshi heritage, equivalent to 12.10 percent of the populous. Along with the UK, the nations in the world with the highest levels of acid attacks are Pakistan and Bangladesh. This statistical correlation cannot be overlooked when trying to find a reason for the rise in acid attacks in the UK.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been roundly criticised for his record on crime during his time in office. While Sadiq Khan has been the mayor, crime has drastically risen in the capital. Rises in knife attacks, gun crime and murder have all been reported during Sadiq Khan’s time in office. This latest news about a 78 percent rise in acid attacks will not provide any reassurance to Londoners that their streets are safer. On the contrary, London looks set to be named the acid attack capital of the world in 2018. The fact that in a nation such as Britain, our capital city sees more people attacked with acid on the streets than Islamabad should make people stop and ask. What in the hell is going on in London?
Picture from LBC.co.uk