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Acid attacks prompt ban on sales to under-18s

Police in South Yorkshire dealt with 26 reported acid attacks in the space of two years
Police in South Yorkshire dealt with 26 reported acid attacks in the space of two years
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Acid attacks across the UK, including South Yorkshire, have prompted a ban on the sale of corrosive substances to under-18s.

Major retailers including B&Q, Tesco and Wilko have signed up to voluntarily prohibit sales of acid or corrosive substances to under-18s, under a government plan.

The voluntary ban comes as new laws are being considered to prevent minors from buying products containing potentially harmful levels of acid, like drain cleaners and paint strippers.

The Star reported last year how police officers in South Yorkshire had received specialist training on how to deal with acid attacks following reports of 26 crimes in the region over two years where chemicals were allegedly used in an attempt to maim victims.

South Yorkshire Police said at the time that although the number of such offences was relatively low in the region, acid attacks were 'one of the most distressing assaults a person can commit against another'.

Crime minister Victoria Atkins said: "Acid attacks have a devastating impact on their victims, leaving both emotional and physical scars.

"I'm pleased that so many of the UK's major retailers are joining our fight to combat this scourge and signalling they are committed to selling acids responsibly."

The Home Office said Wickes, B&Q, Screwfix, Wilko, The Co-op, Morrisons, Waitrose, Tesco and John Lewis are among the major retailers to have signed up to the ban.

Under-18s will be unable to buy the following items from their branches:

Products containing sulphuric acid, such as drain cleaners/unblockers

Products containing hydrochloric acid (10 per cent and over), such as brick and patio cleaners

Products containing sodium hydroxide (12 per cent and over), such as paint strippers.