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Acid attacks: 264 incidents in three years across Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 12:11 11 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:11 11 January 2018

Acid is increasingly being used as a weapon

Acid is increasingly being used as a weapon

Archant

There were 264 acid attacks carried out across Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge in the last three years, new figures have shown.

Metropolitan Police data shows that between January 2015 and October 2017 there were 264 violent offences involving corrosive fluids in the East Area Borough Command Unit region, which consists of the three boroughs.

Of these, 67 were committed in 2015, 108 in 2016 and 89 in the first 10 months of 2017.

The figures, obtained by Conservative London Assembly member Steve O’Connell, found that Newham had the most acid attacks in that period, with 289, while Tower Hamlets was next with 98 incidents.

It also revealed that across the capital, the number of violent offences involving a corrosive fluid rose from 260 in 2015 to 429 in the first 10 months of last year.

But only 19 per cent of offences committed in 2017 have resulted in a charge, down from 25pc in 2015.

Additionally, no suspect was even identified in 37pc of last year’s incidents.

It also revealed that younger people are most likely to be a victim, with more than half being between the ages of 10 and 29. Victims were also found to be predominantly white European or African Caribbean.

The suspects, meanwhile, are predominantly male – 70pc – with just 3pc female and police unsure of the gender of 27pc.

They, too, are most likely to be younger, with 45pc of suspects last year falling within the 10-19 age bracket.

Mr O’Connell, the Greater London Assembly’s spokesman for policing and crime, said: “What these figures do is paint a clear and disturbing picture of the scale and circumstance of these horrific offences.

“This data suggests that acid attacks, as with knife crime, are a youth-related issue. If we are going to get serious about preventing this rise we need to tackle the root causes of these attacks.”

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