I have been acting for acid attack victims for a number of years now claiming compensation for the injuries that they have suffered. Statistically acid attacks are massively on the rise with as many as 2 acid attacks taking place every day in England. London has the highest concentration of acid attacks and as a country we need to react fast to stop this growing phenomenon.
One step in the right direction was the change in new guidelines that were published by the Sentencing Council last week. For the first time acid is to be defined as a “highly dangerous weapon”. This means that judges can impose harsher punishments for anyone caught carrying it in public.
Another change that has come into force to deter criminals carrying acid is that if an adult is convicted of carrying a corrosive substance in public for a second time he/she will be given a minimum 6 month prison term. Anyone under the age of 18 will be given a 4 month detention and training order. This is a new law.
These match the guidelines already in place for knives. The court will determine whether the weapon is highly dangerous on the facts and circumstances of the case.
However there still remains the problem that there is no crime of possession for acid. Unlike knife crime, the police must prove the person intended to use it before they can charge. With knife crime the onus is on the person stopped to prove they have a lawful reason for carrying the knife.
Criminals know the burden is on the police and with acid being easy to carry this has to be the next stage tackled.
If you have been injured in an attack involving acid then give me a call to see where we can help you.