London acid attacks: Man sprayed with 'noxious substance' by attackers on mopeds during attempted robbery

Moped rider targeted in similar pattern seen in five previous incidents

Lizzie Dearden
Saturday 15 July 2017 10:36 BST
The fastest helicopter response times are in London
The fastest helicopter response times are in London (Getty Images)

Another suspected acid attack has been launched in London, less than 24 hours after a spate of five similar incidents.

The Metropolitan Police said they were called at around 5pm on Friday to reports of an attempted robbery of a moped in Dagenham.

The rider, in his 20s, was approached by two men on another moped who squirted what was described as a “noxious substance” at him.

They attempted to steal his moped but were unsuccessful, and the man was taken to hospital.

“He does not have lasting injuries and has been discharged,” a spokesperson for Scotland Yard said. “There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.”

It came a day after five separate victims were targeted by two moped-riding attackers in the north and the east of the capital.

Five acid attacks carried out across London

Two of the assaults saw mopeds stolen, while another victim was left with “life-changing” injuries inflicted after being sprayed.

Detectives have made two arrests relating to Thursday’s rampage, with boys aged 15 and 16 in custody.

Chief Inspector Ben Clark appealed for help from the public for information over the five attacks known to be linked.

“Each of these offences took place in busy locations and we know there may be witnesses who have not yet contacted us,” he said.

“These are hideous offences and must have been very frightening for all of the victims.”

Ch Insp Clark said rumours circulating that the victims were all food delivery riders were incorrect, saying that although they were all riding mopeds they were from a “variety of backgrounds”.

“Of late we have seen more attacks using corrosive substances in London,” he added, amid mounting calls from politicians and the public for the government to regulate the sales of acid.

“I would urge businesses and parents to challenge those who they think may be trying to obtain or carry these substances as this could help prevent serious offences and life changing injuries being caused.”

Concern is mounting over a spike of acid attacks in the UK, which were previously dominantly associated with “honour”-based attacks by men aiming to disfigure female victims predominantly in South Asia.

But acid has been used in the UK for crimes including robbery, sexual offences and assaults motivated by personal disputes.

There were more than 300 crimes using “corrosive substances” in London alone during the 2016/17 financial year, including 208 incidents of violence against the person – one that was fatal - and 118 robberies.

In April, clubbers in east London were caught up in a mass attack that injured 20 people, then last month cousins Resham Khan and Jameel Mukhtar were left with life-changing injuries after having liquid thrown on them through a car window.

Any witnesses, anyone with information or footage of the incidents is asked to contact police via 101, via Twitter @MetCC or anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in