On Friday, two men reportedly clad in Burkas were seen dousing individuals in acid on London streets, and fleeing the scene in a getaway car.
The first attack took place on High Street in Walthamstow, around 6:30 Friday morning. The victim was a market worker. He was taken to a hospital in east London, and police report the injuries he sustained were non life threatening.
Just prior to 7:30 in the evening that same day, two men in their twenties on Cricketfield Road in Hackney Downs were also attacked.
Bystanders sprung into action, pouring water on the victims to alleviate the burning and wash some of the acid off. Neither of these victims had life threatening injuries as well.
As of now, the police have not announced any arrests in relation to the attacks.
The Sun reported earlier this year that, according to the Acid Survivors Trust International, the UK “has one of the highest rates of acid attacks per capita in the world”.
Acid attacks have nearly tripled in the UK in a four year time span, from 228 attacks in 2012 to 601 attacks in 2016. Approximately half of the attacks occur in the capital city of London.
Acid is believed to be increasingly the weapon of choice by gangs for its difficulty to monitor.
Many have taken to Twitter and other media platforms to criticize London Mayor Sadiq Khan and other politicians both local and national for the increased crime rates, particularly acid attacks.
The Acid Survivors Trust International is amongst the critics, saying the UK lacks “tight controls on acid sales” or “legislation specific to acid attacks”.
The rise in the number of acid attacks is largely attributed to gang violence, particularly in cities such as London. Acid is believed to be increasingly the weapon of choice by gangs for its difficulty to monitor.