Advertising

Government urged to ban sale of corrosive liquids to children

UK News | Published:

An undercover sting showed a 14-year-old girl was able to buy bleach from London shops despite a voluntary scheme by retailers to stop sales.

Calls are being made to ban all sales of corrosive liquids to children (PA)

A schoolgirl was able to buy bleach from London shops, despite retailers agreeing to prevent sales of corrosive substances to children amid a spate of acid attacks, an investigation has revealed.

BBC’s 5 Live Investigates was present during an undercover sting led by Newham Council and the Metropolitan Police this week, in which a 14-year-old girl was able to buy bottles of household cleaning bleach from three out of five high street retailers in Newham.

The London borough had been dubbed the “acid attack capital of Britain” in reports after Met Police figures showed it had the highest rates of attacks in the UK.

Food delivery riders demonstrated in Parliament Square following moped acid attacks after five separate male victims were targeted in the north and east of the capital (Yui Mok/PA)
Food delivery riders demonstrated in Parliament Square following moped acid attacks after five separate male victims were targeted in the north and east of the capital (Yui Mok/PA)

Retailers are currently being encouraged to sign up to voluntarily self-regulate sales of corrosive substances to minors.

In Newham, 182 retailers reportedly signed up to a voluntary scheme preventing such sales shoppers aged under 21.

The results of the sting caused alarm, with Newham Council demanding the Government urgently bring forward legislation to introduce a total ban on the sale of corrosive liquids to children, 5 Live reports.

The sting operation was organised by Newham Council and the Met Police (Anthony Devlin/PA)
The sting operation was organised by Newham Council and the Met Police (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Advertising

The programme also obtained new figures from 25 of 46 police forces asked for their data; showing acid attacks were three times higher in 2017 than in 2013 – with 646 attacks recorded in England and Wales last year.

The majority of the attacks were recorded in London, with 464 incidents in 2017, followed by Greater Manchester, with 44.

Met Police told 5 Live there was evidence of a reduction in the number of attacks during the second half of 2017, with last December recording as having the lowest monthly number since November 2015.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Advertising

Top stories

Advertising

More from Shropshire Star

UK & International News