Exclusive: Acid Attacks on the Rise Again in Sadiq Khan’s London

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Acid attacks in London are on the rise again, Breitbart News can reveal, with 88 “noxious and corrosive attacks” logged from January to November 2022, compared to 65 in all of 2021.

The latest figures available show there were 88 ‘acid attacks’ in London in the first 11 months of 22, compared to 65 in all of 2021, suggesting despite the fall in all types of crime seen across the UK during the coronavirus lockdowns London criminal gangs are wasting no time getting back to work. Newham was the London borough with the greatest number of acid attacks last year, followed closely by Hammersmith and Ealing.

Answers to previous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests show violence against the person offences involving corrosive liquids in London stood at 168 back in 2002, declining to 121 in 2003 and then 70 in 2004.

They remained roughly in this range for the next eight years, spiking to 90 and 92 in 2006 and 2009, respectively, and dipping as low as 62 in 2007 — but all of this changed in 2013, when attacks rose sharply to 159, from 66 the year before.

From 2007 onward, London acid attacks increased exponentially year on year, first to 178, then dramatically to 348, 461, 617, and finally 754 in 2018. The phenomenon gained widespread attention, with reports that Britain had become the world’s acid attack capital, and the Sadiq Khan-led national capital being disproportionately dangerous.


Source: Metropolitan Police

London acid attacks fell significantly in the year to December 2019, although they remained historically very high at 439 — but 2020 saw a significant positive change, with another, even more significant fall in offences to 187 from January to the end of October.

While the government lockdowns accompanying the Wuhan virus pandemic may have been a factor in this, new figures from November 2020 obtained by Breitbart London under the Freedom of Information Act suggest attacks continued to fall — at least for a while.

These figures showed a further 11 offences involving “[a] count of Noxious and Corrosive Attacks in a Violent crime or burglary” in November and December 2020, followed by 65 such attacks in 2021 — another significant year-on-year fall, despite the country being relatively more open than in 2020.


Source: Metropolitan Police

Breitbart London asked the Metropolitan Police if they had changed the way such offences are recorded, which they said they had not, or if they had made any particular changes that might have helped drive them down.

The Met could say only that they had “worked… to make changes to the Crown Prosecution charging advice, and ensured strong cases at court leading to tough sentences” — although law enforcement and the courts have a rather different idea of what toughness is relative to the general public — and “supported Home Office work to bring in Voluntary Commitments from retailers to not sell dangerous products to under 18s, and focused on prevention/ awareness work in partnership with other emergency services by delivering presentations to schools”.

What is clear from the 2022 figures, which run to the end of November 2022, is that acid attacks are now once again on the rise — standing at 88, with it being likely if not certain that several more occurred in the final month of the year.

Whether this figure, comparable to the worst years of the 2004-20012 period, before the 2013 spike, represents the beginning of a new upward trend remains to be seen, however.

The new figures do not include offences in which victims were threatened with a corrosive substance but it was not actually “used”.

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