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Tower Hamlets mayor launches petition to change acid carrying laws

PUBLISHED: 18:37 14 September 2017 | UPDATED: 18:37 14 September 2017

Drain unblocker bought on Amazon that contains 96 per cent proof sulphuric acid - which can cause horrendous injuries if used as a weapon.Photo: Emma Youle

Drain unblocker bought on Amazon that contains 96 per cent proof sulphuric acid - which can cause horrendous injuries if used as a weapon.Photo: Emma Youle

Archant

The Labour Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Briggs, has called for urgent changes to the law to tackle further acid attacks.

Noting the 11 reported incidents of attacks on residents in the borough using corrosive substances between January and June, Briggs said legislation on buying and handling acid should match controls on knives.

Speaking at last night’s public meeting on community safety and crime at the Osmani Centre, Underwood Road, he said carrying acid without good reason should be illegal, the same as with a knife.

“Using acid and other corrosive substances to disfigure people is vicious and inhumane,” Briggs said.

The meeting was arranged amid concerns over public safety after the attacks.

He launched an online petition calling for age restrictions on purchasing corrosive substances, a register of on retailers selling these products and ban on their purchase by cash, to keep a record of purchase.

It also calls for manufacturers to make their products harder to spray and throw by producing thicker and less corrosive substances.

“We are working with partners to prevent acid attacks and promote community safety,” said deputy mayor Sirajul Islam. “We have additional police officers on the streets and are speaking with residents about their concerns, so we can reassure residents.”

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