Acid attacks soar in London: Everything you need to know about the crime wave

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The number of acid attacks in London has soared in the past six years with almost 1,500 reports since 2011.

Resham Khan, 21, and her cousin Jameel Muhktar, 37, were left with devastating injuries last month after an attacker sprayed acid in their faces at traffic lights.

Hospital worker Syed Nadeem, 44, was also targeted with acid last month in a moped robbery as he was leaving Whipps Cross hospital.

In 2012 business student Mary Konye, 22, attacked friend Naomi Oni, a Victoria’s Secret shop assistant.

Twenty people were hurt when they were doused in a corrosive substance at Mangle nightclub in Dalston in April. The attack left a 22-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man blind in one eye.

Acid Attack Victim Covered In Water

Arthur Collins, the ex-boyfriend of reality TV star Ferne McCann, was charged with five counts of causing GBH with intent and 11 counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Collins, 25, and fellow defendant Andre Phoenix, 21, strongly deny the charges, pleaded not guilty and are due to stand trial in October.

Q&A: What you need to know about the attacks:

What types of acid are used in attacks?

Sulphuric acid, which can be used as a drain cleaner, is one of the most damaging substances used, along with nitric acid. It can cause severe burns and dissolve skin and even bone.

Chromic acid solution and patio cleaner have also been used in attacks, while hydrochloric acid or ammonia, found in bleach, cause less harm but are still toxic.

Cressida Dick on how easy it is to get acid

Where are they available?

It is virtually impossible to ban the sale of all corrosive substances as many are found in household cleaning products sold over the counter at DIY stores or supermarkets.

The pure chemicals can also be bought online with virtually no checks as to its intended use.

Sellers do, however, have a duty to report any suspicious purchases.

How could they be restricted?

Campaigners have called for a change in sentencing guidelines and tougher restrictions on sale, including “upgrading” sulphuric acid to a regulated substance requiring a licence to buy it.

MPs have also called for a specific offence of carrying sulphuric acid and a re-examination of stop and search powers. Experts say it is very difficult to prove any illegal motive in carrying it and, while a knife attack is attempted murder, being caught in an acid attack would be grievous bodily harm.

There are also calls for household cleaning products to be weakened.

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