Acids: Crimes of Violence

Home Office written question – answered on 3rd July 2018.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information his Department has collected on the substances used in corrosive substance attacks in the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

The Home Office does not hold the information requested and does not specifically collect data from police forces on acid and other corrosive attacks as part of its regular data collection. Acid and other corrosive attacks resulting in injury are included in Office for National Statistics published statistics within assault with injury offences and assault with intent to cause serious harm offences, but cannot be disaggregated.

The table below sets out the substances identified as being used in attacks between November 2016 and April 2017 based on the returns from 39 police forces as part of the National Police Chiefs’ Council commissioned voluntary data collection.

Indicative figures for 408 acid or corrosive attacks broken down by substance

Indicative figures for 408 acid or corrosive attacks broken down by substance







Other stated substance


Unknown liquid


No information provided




Other stated substance included a range of diverse substances including boiling water, lighter fluid, petrol, CS and pepper spray and non-ammonia/bleach household cleaning products.

These figures must be treated with caution, as they are not official statistics. Furthermore, they are only available for cases where the substance was recorded by officers and reflect what the officers involved in the case believed the substance to be, based on the available evidence.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead has undertaken a further data collection exercise with police forces to provide us with updated figures on the extent of corrosive substance attacks and the substances. We expect that the analysis will be completed shortly.

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