Acid attacks: Tower Hamlets borough commander offers reassurance

Tower Hamlets borough commander Sue Williams (credit: Met Police)

Tower Hamlets borough commander Sue Williams (credit: Met Police) - Credit: Archant

The borough commander has sought to reassure people following a spate of acid attacks in east London.

Sue Williams said that there is currently “nothing to suggest” a link between the incidents, which include a man and a woman being attacked in Burdett Road, Mile End in the early hours of Tuesday and a motorist squirted in the face during a carjacking incident in Commercial Road, Stepney last week.

She added that only one attack – on cousins Resham Khan and Jameel Mukhtar in Beckton – is being treated as a hate crime and that it is “only the second report in the last 12 months within the whole of London of such an incident having a hate crime link”.

Det Ch Supt Williams said: “In Tower Hamlets we have had no race/hate crime reported involving corrosive substances.

“There is no evidence that any group of people, white, black or Asian is being specifically victimised.

“We have increased targeted patrols to combat individuals carrying and using such substances, but it is important to remember that such crimes are still relatively rare.”

There have been 149 attacks using a corrosive or acid substance in London this year, 11 of which were in Tower Hamlets.

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Last year, there were 455 offences across the capital.

Tower Hamlets Council has been working with the police to support the investigation, with mayor John Biggs saying: “I want to send a clear message that using acid to disfigure people is a vicious and inhuman crime and we will not stand for it.

“Much of tackling this problem rests with the police but I am looking urgently at what the council and other partners can do including what additional resources we can offer for police officers.”

Det Ch Supt Williams added: “The police will not tolerate any attack using corrosive and noxious substances on anyone and will bring offenders to justice.

“I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of a corrosive attack to report it with confidence that you will be fully supported.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Tower Hamlets CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.