Number of acid attacks almost halves in Redbridge in 12 months
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The number of acid attacks in Redbridge has reduced by almost 50per cent in the last 12 months, police have confirmed.
There were 29 incidents in the borough between September 2016 and August 2017 with 10 occurring in December alone.
Between September 2017 and August 2018, the figure had decreased to 15, with the month of May having the most incidents with six recorded offences.
Det Supt Mike West, the Met’s lead for tackling corrosive substance offences, said: “We will not tolerate any violent attack of any kind, including those using corrosive substance, which we treat these with an equal response to that of knife and gun crime and are determined to bring those who do to justice.
“Overall, we have been seeing a fall in corrosive attacks and we continue to monitor the situation, take action to prevent attacks, and bring offenders to justice.”
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The number of acid attacks in neighbouring borough Havering also decreased by around 50pc.
There were 20 incidents in the borough between September 2016 and August 2017 with five taking place in April and five taking place in June.
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This is contrasted to the following year when nine incidents were recorded - three of them taking place in December.
Barking and Dagenham also saw a drop in acid attacks by more than 50pc.
From September 2016 to August 2017 there were 65 incidents with 12 of them taking place in February and eight taking place in both July and August.
The number of recorded incidents dropped to 30 between September 2017 and August 2018 with the most prolific months being recorded as October with eight incidents and December with five.
“These reductions do not mean we are taking any focus away from this terrible type of crime, and work continues both within the MPS and with key partners to sustain the impact and reduce this further,” he added.
The London Ambulance Service shared advice from medical director, Dr Fenella Wrigley, on the immediate steps to take if you or someone you know suffers a chemical burn
She said it is important to wear gloves or use a towel so as not to directly touch the affected area and to remove contaminated clothing and jewellery.
“Rinse the burn immediately with a gentle, steady stream of cool tap water over the burn for 10 or more minutes,” she advised.
“A shower can be used if available, and mild soap can be used on skin safely. Always protect your eyes while washing acid off your skin.”
A loose bandage, gauze or clean cotton clothing should be applied to the area.
Over-the-counter pain relief can be given to those who have minor burns that do not affect the face.
Emergency care should be sought if a person shows signs of shock, they have shallow breathing or a pale complexion.
A person should also go to hospital if the chemical has burnt through the first layer of their skin or if the burn covers more than three inches.
“[Seek emergency care when] the chemical burn goes all the way round a limb or involves the eyes, hands, feet, face, groin or buttocks, or a major joint such as the knee or elbow,” added Dr Wrigley.
For medical advice, call NHS 111 or 999 in an emergency