Opinion: Why sale of acid must be regulated

The drain cleaner with 96pc sulphuric acid. Photo: Archant

The drain cleaner with 96pc sulphuric acid. Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

Generations to come may well look back in disbelief that their forefathers were able to walk into shops or visit websites and buy products which can disfigure people for life.It is easy to see how the widespread availability of cheap acid has made it a weapon of choice for some criminals.

Although this region has not had the spate of attacks seen in London this summer, each attack can be devastating.

Adele Bellis from Lowestoft will have to live each day with the terrible effect of sulphuric acid being thrown at her at a bus stop in Pakefield in August 2014.

The Government has a real job on its hands to start regulating the sale of these products, but it is hardly an impossible task.

Firstly, it needs to ban the sale of strong cleaning products with high levels of acid to under 18s.


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Some shops have taken it upon themselves to do this already, acting before the Government.

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Those who are desperate enough will still find a way of getting their hands on these products but at least it makes their lives a little bit more difficult. When we bought the items online, there were no age checks or questions asked.

Secondly, the Home Office should look at the prosecution of those carrying these products and sentencing guidelines – the man who threw the acid at Ms Bellis is out of jail after two years.

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