Before the attack: Acid victim Resham Khan. Her attacker has not yet been caught.

Probably the most disheartening thing This Writer read yesterday (July 5) was a response to my appeal for information to be spread on how to avoid acid attacks.

It read: “‘Isn’t it time some sort of safety advice was available?’

“LOL!”

Charming.

The good news is that a backlash against acid violence is gaining strength. There was a vigil in Newham…

… and Green MP Caroline Lucas is proposing government action:

There is something particularly heinous about acid violence – it’s an act which is not only premeditated but which has the sole intent to cause lasting disfigurement.

There have been several reports on social media of acid attacks on ethnic minorities. Whilst not all the attacks have been substantiated by the police, there is a growing fear amongst Muslims that their community is being targeted. These fears are completely understandable – especially when placed side by side with attacks on mosques and the rise in Islamaphobic hate crime.

A recent freedom of information request to the Metropolitan police found that acid attacks are on the rise in London – a total of 1490 acid attacks took place in London between 2011 and 2016 with 431 attacks in 2016, compared with 261 in the previous year. This is a trend that is being replicated nationally.

it’s time that the Government took serious action to not only understand the rise in its use as a method of violence in the UK but to ensure that preventive measures are put in place to end acid violence.

There is currently no legislation which prevents or controls the sale of corrosive substances – currently, sulphuric acid can be purchased from as little as £1 both in stores and online. In the context of a crackdown on knife crime, the Government must not forget that those who wish to cause harm will seek to find new, easily available and cheap weapons.

(Source: Acid attacks are on the rise – the government must act now | openDemocracy)

It seems astonishing that sulphuric acid is freely available on the market, with no restrictions or regulation, after 431 acid attacks took place in London alone during 2016.

It is clear that legislation is necessary to end the spread of this shocking crime.

Meanwhile, I would urge people to be vigilant and keep their wits about them at all times.

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