Calls to treat acid attacks the same way as knife crime after moped duo carry out five incidents in 90 minutes

Photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @sarah_cobbold of Deliveroo and UberEATS drivers at the scene along with police after two men on a moped carried out five acids attacks during a spree across the capital which lasted less than 90 minutes, police said.
Photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @sarah_cobbold of Deliveroo and UberEATS drivers at the scene along with police after two men on a moped carried out five acids attacks during a spree across the capital which lasted less than 90 minutes, police said.
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Tougher and more consistent sentences are needed for those found guilty of acid attacks, a former minister has said.

Stephen Timms called for carrying acid to be made an offence and suggested licensing the purchase of sulphuric acid as he urged a change in sentencing guidelines.

It comes after two men on a moped carried out five acid attacks during a spree across London which lasted less than 90 minutes.

The Metropolitan Police said one victim had been left with "life-changing" injuries after being doused on Thursday night in the east of the capital.

The assaults appeared to be linked and two involved victims having their mopeds stolen, they added.

A male teenager was later arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and robbery and has been taken to an east London police station.

At the start of the rampage, a 32-year-old moped rider had been approached by the pair as he drove towards the Hackney Road junction with Queensbridge Road.

Mr Timms, a Labour MP who will lead an adjournment debate on acid attacks in the Commons on Monday, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think that the sentences for attacks of this kind should be reviewed - the guidelines for sentencing.

"I think we should have tougher and also more consistent sentences for those who are found guilty of carrying out these attacks."

Mr Timms said carrying a bottle of sulphuric acid without justification should be treated as an offence, like carrying a knife, and said there was a case to re-examine when it is appropriate to use stop and search powers.

He said: "I think that carrying acid should in itself be an offence, in the same way that carrying a knife wouldn't have been an offence some years ago.

"I think there's been a pretty effective change - I think the same change should be made for acid."

Mr Timms also called for sulphuric acid to be re-categorised so that a licence is required to buy the chemical, telling the programme: "Sulphuric acid is already covered by the Explosives Precursor Regulations introduced last year, but it's in a kind of lower category in those regulations.

"I think it should be raised to the higher category, which would mean you'd have to have a licence in order to buy it."