After a recent spate of acid attacks, the British government is considering launching a review of tougher sentencing for the perpetrators of acid attacks. The move, according to Home Secretary Amber Rudd will help curb the spike in the "horrific" crime.
Rudd wrote in the Sunday Times newspaper that those who use corrosive liquids as a weapon should "feel the full force of the law" and "must share their victims' life sentences."
The government is considering a proposal to ensure that acid and other corrosive substances be considered as dangerous weapons. The review will also ascertain whether it could impose measures on retailers to restrict the sale of such substances, according to CNN.
"Acid attacks are horrific crimes which have a devastating effect on victims, both physically and emotionally," Rudd said in a statement Sunday. "It is vital that we do everything we can to prevent these sickening attacks happening in the first place," she added.
The announcement comes days after a recent acid attack in London where five men were attacked over a 70-minute period. A 16-year-old was charged with 15 offenses, following five related to acid attacks in London two days earlier. The boy is expected to appear before Stratford Youth Court on Monday, London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
Acid attacks in London have nearly tripled since 2016. According to a report by the Metropolitan Police Service in March, the number of acid attacks rose from 166 in 2015 to 454 in 2016.
While vendors are required to report any suspicious transactions involving sulphuric acid to the authorities, the number of attacks continues has continued to escalate.
Over 400 acid or corrosive substance attacks took place between December 2016 and April 2017, according to the National Police Chiefs' Council, NPCC, based on figures provided by 39 law enforcement forces in England and Wales.
According to the Home Office, Bleach, ammonia, and acid were the most commonly used substances to carry out the corrosive attacks.
"We must also ensure that the police and other emergency services are able to respond as effectively as possible, that sentences reflect the seriousness of the offenses and victims are given the immediate support they need," Rudd added.