Acid assaults soar by 75% with rising numbers of feminine victims | EUROtoday

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Acid assaults have surged by 75 per cent with rising numbers of feminine victims, it has been revealed.

Shocking new figures from police forces in England and Wales present a minimum of 1,244 offences involving corrosive substances have been recorded final 12 months, up from simply 710 in 2022.

The newest rise comes after a 69 per cent year-on-year enhance was additionally recorded in 2022 as consultants warn the escalating downside is a “huge concern”.

Worrying, solely eight per cent of assaults resulted in a perpetrator being charged, in response to the figures from Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI).

The charity has known as for pressing motion from the winner of the final election amid fears the true complete is prone to be even larger as a consequence of under-reporting by victims.

The information, obtained through Freedom of Information Requests made to police forces, comes after a mom was critically injured in a horrifying alkali assault in Clapham earlier this 12 months.

Abdul Ezedi had travelled to London from Newcastle to douse his former girlfriend in a corrosive substance within the 31 January assault, which additionally noticed her two kids injured.

Ezedi, 35, fled the scene however is believed to have taken his personal life after his physique was pulled from the Thames by police.

According to pals, the mom was nonetheless in important care having misplaced sight in a minimum of one in every of her eyes a month after the assault.

The area near Tower Pier on the River Thames, London , where a body believed to be that of Clapham alkali attack suspect Abdul Ezedi was found
The space close to Tower Pier on the River Thames, London , the place a physique believed to be that of Clapham alkali assault suspect Abdul Ezedi was discovered (PA)

ASTI discovered that out of the 1,244 recorded offences final 12 months, over a 3rd have been bodily offences towards the particular person, whereas 790 offences included threats of corrosive assaults, carrying of corrosives, and different critical crimes involving corrosives, similar to rape or theft.

Their government director Jaf Shah warned: “There has to be action taken about threats from the beginning to prevent those threats from escalating into physical attacks.”

While acid assaults within the UK have typically been related to male-on-male violence, current traits present it’s more and more being linked to violence towards ladies and women.

Half of all corrosive offences final 12 months have been towards ladies – with some 502 feminine victims out of 1001 offences the place gender information was accessible. This rises to over 59 per cent for threats of violence.

“Our new data shows that acid violence is an escalating problem in our country, with women increasingly at risk,” Mr Shah added. “With a new Government soon in place, we are asking our leaders to take urgent action and stop these atrocious crimes which leave victims forever scarred.”

The north east of England can also be disproportionately affected with a “shocking” variety of assaults recorded in Northumbria, the place a fifth of all corrosive violent offences befell final 12 months – together with 81 violent bodily assaults. Most generally, ammonia was utilized by perpetrators.

They recorded extra incidents than the capital, with the Met Police recording 72 violent bodily assaults.

A GoFundMe was launched for a mother who was doused with a corrosive substance in Clapham in January
A GoFundMe was launched for a mom who was doused with a corrosive substance in Clapham in January (GoFundMe)

Professor Francisco C Figueiredo, an opthamology professional at Newcastle University, stated: “Over the last five years there has been a concerning rise in the incidence of acid attacks especially in the North East of England.

“Eight per cent of the victims are young Caucasian males and 90 per cent of them are not reported to Northumbria Police. Ammonia is the most common chemical used in the Northeast of England area.

“Using noxious chemicals to cause harm, and ocular harm in particular, is becoming a popular mode of assault in the UK, and is a serious medical and social concern which requires further investigation to be able to increase public awareness, implement stricter regulations, better surveillance and means of prevention, as well as to provide adequate support to the victims.”

Acid violence too typically goes unpunished with solely eight per cent of the instances resulting in a cost or a summon, the charity stated.

In many instances survivors stay in worry of reprisal assaults, with virtually a 3rd of victims withdrawing assist for police motion regardless of officers figuring out a suspect.

Dr Matt Hopkins, Associate Professor in Criminology on the University of Leicester, stated the rise was a “huge concern”.

“However, we should also keep in mind that the incidents tend to be concentrated in a select number of areas and we need to further explore whether this is a product of better police recording and identify what types of substances are being used in the attacks to be able to improve prevention,” he added.

A Home Office spokesperson stated: “Attacks on people involving acids or other corrosives can result in huge distress and life changing injuries.

“Under the Offensive Weapons Act 2019, it is illegal to sell and deliver corrosive products to people under 18 and possess corrosive substances in public.”