Acid named as Havering’s ‘weapon of choice’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 February 2016

The Recorder has reported on seven incidents involving harmful substances in the past three weeks

The Recorder has reported on seven incidents involving harmful substances in the past three weeks


Harmful chemicals, such as acid, used in a spate of attacks have been branded Havering’s “weapon of choice”.

The Recorder has reported on seven such crimes in the past three weeks, including one that left a man fearing he would lose the sight in his left eye.

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell has slammed the attacks as “vile and twisted”, while Jaf Shah, executive director of Acid Survivors Trust International, said he is surprised at the frequency of the offences in Havering.

Mr Shah said: “It does seem like within the criminal community that acid is becoming the weapon of choice in Havering.”

“It’s very cheap and accessible.”

Attacks have been reported across the borough, including in McDonald’s, South Street, Romford and a roadside in Rainham.

The increase in such attacks does not appear to be limited to Havering.

Provisional figures from the Health and Social Care Centre have revealed that hospital admissions nationally have more than doubled.

In 2004/05, there were 47 admissions, resulting from attacks involving corrosive substances. This figure more than doubled to 106 in 2014/15.

The mum of an acid attack victim has said more needs to be done to stop dangerous chemicals being carried on the streets,

The 43-year-old, whose child was threatened with acid during a robbery in Havering, said: “I think police need to carry out more stop and searches so they can find these people before they do anyone any harm.

“This will then hopefully make others think twice about purchasing it because they know it is likely that they will be caught.”

Mr Rosindell said he will be raising his concerns directly with Havering police. He added: “The use of harmful liquids as a weapon is deeply worrying.”

Mr Shah added: “The government should implement a permit-style system for people wanting to buy acid – there’s no reason most people need to buy a bottle of hydrochloric acid.

“Currently, there’s not even a requirement to show ID to buy these products.

“The Home Office should be looking into this in far greater detail to see why people are choosing it as a weapon and who is using it.

“We don’t have a true picture of the number of attacks occurring. It’s often a hidden form of violence.”

Anyone who has any information about these incidents, or has been a victim of any similar event, should contact Havering Police on 101.

Latest Romford News Stories

5 minutes ago

A man accused of murdering a drug addict in Harold Hill, was pressured not to “snitch” on another defendant, the Old Bailey heard yesterday, Tuesday, March 20.

Yesterday, 16:00

Detectives are appealing for witnesses and information following a fatal collision this morning.

Yesterday, 14:20

A shop in Upminster was robbed by two men with a 15-inch knife and a hammer.

Yesterday, 13:00

A number of egg-citing events are set to take place in Romford town centre over the Easter weekend.

Yesterday, 11:49

Train drivers’ union ASLEF has cancelled a planned strike for next Wednesday.

Yesterday, 10:00

School engagement programmes and start-up training centres are some of the commitments a major development company has made, alongside a contract to create more than 3,000 new homes in Havering.

Yesterday, 07:00

A man accused of stabbing a 28-year-old drug addict to death, told the Old Bailey yesterday, Monday, March 19, there was no money in killing someone, and it was “crazy” to think he would commit such a crime days after his release from jail.

Mon, 17:00

Sea cadets were welcomed to celebrate the 80th birthday of the HMS Belfast with a special anniversary weekend.


Fed up with haggling on people’s drives over a used car, only to find out later it’s on its last legs?

Many drivers will be heading to the showrooms in March looking to pick up a car bearing the shiny new 18 registration plate.

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now