ACID Attacks

 

Acid attacks are becoming a serious problem on London streets.

First, acid can be carried without a legal warrant. Public are able to go into a store and then legally walk around with the corrosive substance they have just bought. English Law could be changed to make it an offense to carry a corrosive substance without justification. Some suspects would inevitably get around this law, but it would give the Police greater powers to address threats on the street.

 

So called, Acid attacks, where corrosive substances are used as part of a violent assault or robbery, have become increasingly prominet, with a series of high-profile incidents in past years.

 

The NHS and leading burns surgeons are today issuing new first aid guidance to help ensure victims of acid attacks get the right help fast.

 

The guidance

Report, Remove, Rinse -           has been developed with specialist BAPRAS burns and trauma surgeons, who have treated victims of these attacks.

Whilst the overall number of people impacted by this type of attack remains low, people are advised to take three simple steps in the event they witness or are victim of an attack:

  • Report the attack: dial 999.
  • Remove contaminated clothing carefully.
  • Rinse skin immediately in running water.

A burns unit serving patients from London and the South East, has seen a substantial increase in the number of people it has helped this year who have been affected by this type of assault. In 2016 the St Andrew’s Burns Centre saw 20 people who required admission because of the most serious effects of acid or corrosive burns, a similar number who were treated there over the previous 15 years. The Centre is on course to deliver help to over 30 people in 2017.

People assaulted with corrosive substances like acid are likely to need a range of different care after the emergency response. This could include therapy, specialist burns treatment, and in some instances eye or plastic and reconstructive surgery. This new guidance for victims published today is designed to help people to understand easily what help is available from the NHS. The guidance also offers help to victims’ relatives, who can help people cope with the trauma which can follow an attack.

“The minutes after an acid attack are critical for helping a victim. This guidance BAPRAS has published with NHS England gives the important, urgent steps a victim or witness can take to help reduce the immediate pain and damage, and long-term injuries.”

Whilst making this advice available to the public, NHS England have also partnered with a number of organisations, including police forces, ambulance services and the Royal College of Surgeons to ensure this advice is shared with front-line public service people who are often first on the scene.

The current threat level for international terrorism in the UK is SEVERE.

 

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