In less than 90 minutes, two young men had attacked with acid 5 men in east London on Thursday night. Between 10.25pm and 11.37pm the two men riding a moped doused with acid their victims, leaving some of them with “life-changing” injuries.

The Metropolitan Police said that a male teenager was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and robbery. The incidents were connected, and two of the victims had their mopeds stolen.

The attacks began at Hackney Road junction, where a 32-year-old moped driver was stopped by the two men. They threw acid at his face and stole his vehicle, driving towards Islington where 20 minutes later, at 10.50pm, they sprayed with the corrosive liquid their second victim. At 11.05pm, on Shoreditch High Street they tossed the noxious substance on their third victim and on Cazenove Road they hit for the fourth time, leaving a man with “life-changing” injuries. The fifth acid attack came at 11.37pm, on Chatsworth Road, when the pair attacked a man with a moped waiting in traffic, before stealing it and fleeing the scene.

The 5 acid attacks come after a man threw acid at a 21-year-old aspiring model, Resham Khan, and her 37-year-old cousin, Jameel Mukhtar, who were both left with life-changing injuries during Ms Khan’s birthday in Beckton, east London. On Tuesday, 24-year-old John Tomlin, appeared before magistrates charged with two accounts of grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to the assault.

There has been an increasing number of acid attacks the last four years in the UK and this month there were calls for restrictions on selling acid and other noxious substances. 

According to a Birmingham newspaper, acid and corrosive substances attacks have increased dramatically the West Midlands the recent years. Crimes involving hot water, acid and other corrosive substances increased by 30% the last four years. Since 2012, police in England and Wales recorded more than 500 offences where people had threatened to use or did use acid or other corrosive substances.

Given the fact that the attacks are extremely violent and a form of a very personalised crime that is aimed at causing physical and emotional damage to victims, in 2016, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) urged people to report them as serious offences so they are dealt with positively.