Drivers and police in the street after officers said two men on a moped had carried out a string of acid attacks [Image: Sarah Cobbold].

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East Ham MP Stephen Timms has called for carrying acid on the streets to be criminalised after the latest string of attacks in London.

He joins Green MP Caroline Lucas, who called for the sale of corrosive substances to be controlled last week.

This Site has also been calling for legislation to prevent this abominable crime.

Mr Timms told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he will argue at a parliamentary debate on Monday that regulations surrounding acid should be overhauled “very quickly”:

“Carrying acid should in itself be an offence in the same way that carrying a knife was made an offence several years ago.

“I think that’s been a pretty effective change and I think the same change should be made for acid.

“Many people do use sulphuric acid for DIY for drain clearing – purposes of that kind – but just as it’s perfectly lawful to buy a knife for use in your kitchen at home… and for it to be wrapped up and safe to carry, that’s fine.

“We can certainly come up with arrangements that would allow people to use sulphuric acid in the normal way.”

(Source: London acid attacks: Carrying corrosive fluid should be an offence, says East Ham MP)

Mr Timms’s comments follow a 90-minute acid attack rampage on the evening of July 13, in which five separate attacks took place – all attributed to two men on a moped.

First, a moped rider was approached by two male suspects as he rode on the Hackney Road junction with Queensbridge Road. They tossed acid into his face before one of them jumped on to his vehicle and drove away.

The pair allegedly sprayed another victim with acid on the Upper Street junction with Highbury Corner in Islington, shortly afterwards.

A further victim was attacked by two men on a moped on Shoreditch High Street, having liquid thrown in his face.

The attackers appear to have struck again shortly after, launching the corrosive substance at a man on Cazenove Road and causing “life-changing” injuries.

Finally, another man was attacked as he sat on his moped in traffic on Chatsworth Road. After spraying the liquid in the victim’s face, the moped was stolen and both attackers left the scene (details from The Guardian‘s report).

A person aged 16 has been arrested following the attacks.

That’s right – the suspect is only 16 years of age.

Clearly something has to be done to stop the increase in acid attacks, and it is welcome that a member of Labour has added his voice to the Green Party’s only MP.

Why are the Conservatives silent? When can we expect them to bring forth legislation? It should be a matter of urgency.

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