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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - A Metropolitan Police officer stands on duty in Westminster, London, Britain, October 1, 2021. — Reuters pic
LONDON, Feb 1 — UK police were today hunting a man who threw a suspected corrosive substance at a woman and two young children in south London.
The victims were taken to hospital along with three members of the public who are believed to have been injured when they went to their aid.
The Metropolitan Police said three officers who responded to the incident in Clapham on Wednesday night also suffered minor injuries.
Detective Superintendent Alexander Castle said tests were being carried out to determine what the substance was but that "at this stage we believe it to be a corrosive substance".
Acid attacks in the UK had been declining following a peak of 941 cases recorded in 2017 but cases spiked again in 2022, according to the charity Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI).
Police force data showed crimes involving the use of acid increased by 69 per cent across England and Wales in 2022 with at least 710 attacks compared to 421 in 2021.
The figures were obtained through freedom of information requests by the Trust which warned that the true number of attacks was likely to be "far higher" as not all police forces responded to the request.
The previous decline in cases had been partly attributed to the introduction of stricter controls on the availability of acid and other corrosive substances under the 2019 Offensive Weapons Act. — AFP
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