Stephen: "Government must go further on acid attacks"

Sales of products containing dangerous levels of acids and corrosive substances have been banned for under 18-year-olds under a new voluntary government plan aimed at stopping acid attacks. 

Some of the country's largest retailers including Wickes, B&Q, Screwfix and Tesco have signed the list of commitments, which include checking the age of buyers both in store and online. Under the ban - which is not legally binding - the following products will not be sold to those under 18:

  • Products that contain 12% or above of sodium hydroxide, such as some drain cleaners and paint strippers
  • Any liquids with 10% or more of hydrochloric acid, which includes brick and patio cleaners
  • Products containing 10% or above of ammonium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite, which includes many cleaning products.

Stephen welcomed the voluntary ban on under-18 sales, but called on Ministers to do more: "I think what's happened is some people who're intent on committing crimes have worked out that it's less risky for them to do it with the help of an acid bottle that they're carrying than if they were carrying a knife or a gun because there are much clearer and stronger laws in place against carrying knives or guns than there are against carrying acid," he said.