Eleven Metropolitan police officers were injured in a suspected vitriolage attack during a drugs bust in the North London borough of Barnet.
The injuries occurred on Wednesday just before 2 p.m. during an intelligence-led drugs raid, part of a wider operation, at a property in an industrial area in Dale Close.
According to a statement from Scotland Yard, the 11 firearms officers “were injured by a suspected corrosive substance” as they executed the warrant.
The Sun reports claims that the perpetrators had attacked the police by squirting the liquid at them with jiffy bottles, but the officers were wearing protective clothing, shielding them from some of the substance.
All 11 were taken to hospital for treatment, but none are said to be in life-threatening condition. Four men have been arrested on suspicion of narcotics offences.
The scale of the operation appeared to be fairly significant, with one local telling the Metro that she heard two “loud bangs” before leaving her house to see what she described as “hundreds” of police and ambulance staff. Authorities did not confirm if police used flash grenades during the raid.
Nicky Tierney told the urban freesheet that she saw several undercover officers at the scene and witnessed one police officer — presumably injured — being led away wrapped in a blanket.
London Is ’Acid Attack Hotspot in Western World’ https://t.co/rBJ5DzG8wk
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 29, 2019
Acid attacks have seen a resurgence in the United Kingdom in recent years, with 15 acid attacks a week between 2015 and 2018, three-quarters of which occurred in London.
Despite being more commonly associated with Asia, in 2017 the National Police Chiefs’ Council said that Britain had become one of the world’s worst countries for acid attacks.
A number of high-profile vitriolage attacks have hit the headlines as a result. In 2018, for example, Xeneral Webster became the first person to be convicted and jailed for manslaughter after 47-year-old nurse Joanne Rand died following an acid attack in High Wycombe. Webster had been aiming for another man as he threatened him during a robbery, but Webster’s target kicked the bottle out of his hand, the sulphuric acid flying over and injuring Mrs Rand.
That same year, Berlinah Wallace had been jailed for a “sadistic” acid attack on her ex-boyfriend Mark van Dongen. Mr van Dongen was left with such extreme injuries that he was driven to suicide, and ended his life at a euthanasia clinic in Belgium.
In 2019, a man originally from Afghanistan was found guilty of ordering an acid attack on his three-year-old son during an ongoing custody dispute.
Police have also been subject to attacks in recent months in their sporadic attempts to quell violent far-left protests and illegal street parties in London. Last month, Scotland Yard said that policing Black Lives Matter and counter-protests resulted in a 38 per cent increase on assaults on officers.
Xeneral Webster Sentenced to 17 Years for Acid Attack Killing of Nurse https://t.co/vGbIkiBVwj
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 31, 2018