Amber Rudd calls for tougher sentences for acid attacks

Posted On: 
16th July 2017

Amber Rudd has called for more life sentences to be handed down to those who carry out acid attacks. 

Amber Rudd suggested there could be more life sentences for acid attacks

The Home Secretary said she would look at policing and sentencing in the light of recent incidents, including five attacks in the space of 90 minutes in London last week.

Part of the review will include changing guidance to prosecutors to class acid and other corrosive substances as dangerous weapons.

Ms Rudd also suggested that perpetrators would be more likely to face life sentences in future, arguing that "life sentences must not be reserved for acid attack survivors".

Writing in the Sunday Times, she said: "The law in this area is already strong, with acid attackers facing up to a life sentence in certain cases. But we can and will improve our response.

"That’s why today I am announcing an action plan to tackle acid attacks. It will include a wide-ranging review of the law enforcement and criminal justice response, of existing legislation, of access to harmful products and of the support offered to victims...

"We will also make sure that those who commit these terrible crimes feel the full force of the law. We will seek to ensure that everyone working within the criminal justice system, from police officers to prosecutors, has the powers they need to punish severely those who commit these appalling crimes. I am clear that life sentences must not be reserved for acid attack survivors."

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott last week called for acid attacks to be treated as terrorist incidents.

She told PoliticsHome: "The recent spate of acid attacks have shocked the nation, but sadly they are nothing new. With a steady rise in attacks since 2010 and a steep increase of 70% from 2015-6, it is clear that the Government urgently needs a new approach to this heinous crime."