In the early hours of Easter Monday, a horrific attack took place in an East-London bar. During a row, allegedly over drugs, a corrosive liquid was thrown, leaving two people blind in one eye, two others with severe facial injuries and a whole host of bystanders needing treatment for severe scarring.

The Problem

Recent figures from the Metropolitan Police have shown a marked increase in the crime of 'face melting,' in London, an offense that has risen steeply year upon year over the past decade. Some 261 cases in 2015 up to 454 last year, a shocking rise of 74%, whilst nationwide the rise has been something like 30% in the last two years.

Once it was knives and guns that were used to terrorise and threaten victims, now 'corrosive substances,' have become the weapon of choice, ones to be used in murder, robbery, and rape; although men are far more likely to be the victim than women. Sulfuric and hydrochloric acids are not the biggest threat, but the more readily available items such as lime, paint thinner, lighter fluid, ammonia and domestic bleach. All of which can be innocuously hidden in a drinks bottle to maim the intended victim.The most worrying trend, of course, is that it is a tool being used by teenagers and schoolchildren, some as young as 12 as a means of revenge on someone they see as a guilty party, or just as a bit of a laugh.

High profile cases like those of Katie Piper, the media celebrity and victim of a sulphuric attack in 2008, have put a spotlight on the problem and the recent arrest of TOWIE star Fearn McCann's boyfriend, the perpetrator of the attack in the East-London club, highlighting it further.

The Horror

During the Victorian era 'acid gangs,' were a norm on the streets of the major Uk cities, a practice which after the 1920's all but disappeared.

Recently we have witnessed a rise in attacks within the Asian communities both here and in their countries of origin, but no matter the slight, using such a horrific action to self-right perceived injustices, is far from a reliable excuse or acceptable behavior.

To the rational, it is an inconceivable act, one that deliberately sets out to cause permanent injury, or in some way deform the victim.

Never mind the indescribable pain on contact, it is the lasting emotional and physical scarring that time will certainly never heal which is the legacy of a heinous and deplorable crime, one that the police can only deal with as GBH, not attempted murder. One that we should all be on the lookout for and help to stamp out in whatever way we can!