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Britain Restricts Acid Sales After Nearly 2,000 Attacks in Seven Years

REUTERS/Hannah McKay

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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The United Kingdom will limit access to sulphuric acid and similar substances after a spike in attacks in recent years, Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced Tuesday.

More than 1,800 acid attacks have been reported in the United Kingdom since 2010, with 458 of them taking place last year. Fluid acid has replaced guns as the weapons of choice for many gangs since it’s legal to carry around and easy to obtain.

Rudd proposed an age limit of 18 years to purchase the harmful corrosive substances. It would also be illegal to carry acid around in public without a valid excuse.

“Acid attacks are absolutely revolting,” Rudd said at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. “You have all seen the pictures of victims that never fully recover; endless surgeries, lives ruined.”

Rudd called for a review of the current legislation in July to make sure offenders “feel the full force of the law.”

“We can and will improve our response,” Rudd wrote in the Times of London. “It will include a wide-ranging review of the law enforcement and criminal justice response, of existing legislation, of access to harmful products and of the support offered to victims.”

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