A burns surgeon who treats many acid attack victims coming out of East London has suggested that the proliferation of such crimes is now at epidemic levels.
Dr Martin Niall, a burn surgeon at Mid-Essex Hospital, told National Public Radio (NPR) in the U.S. that acid attacks in Britain “are now at levels that one of my colleagues described as epidemic”.
He added: “Everyone, ourselves included, has been shocked by this emerging threat to public health.”
In terms of attacks per head of population, London is now the acid attack capital of the world, with a 74 per cent rise in assaults — from 261 to 454 — between 2015 and 2016.
Hundreds of attacks have already been logged for the first few months of 2017. Twelve people suffered burns and in some cases lost their vision after an attack in a Hackney nightclub at Easter, and two moped-mounted teens attacked five people around London in under 90 minutes in a July crime spree.
Delivery drivers in the capital — who are considered easy targets for bike theft assisted by acid — now refuse to work in certain parts of London due to the danger.
Acid will make a good weapon in the Apocalypse, in areas where guns are hard to come by. The right acid can be concealed in chemically resistant wash bottles, it is terrifying, and it takes out a victim’s sight. Given that, it might pay to give some thought to how you would counter the threat. Paintball masks come to mind, though they would likely be one use items. Welding masks might be good, though they will restrict fields of view considerably. On the bright side, if their batteries are good, they can also protect against blinding light. Gloves would be a necessity at all times, meaning warm weather in warm climate regions might be more of an acid risk.
Where you will not see acid attacks is where firearms are legal, and carried freely. There, the fighting will be much more direct and face to face, with bullets, and acid attackers will be killed on sight.
Oddly enough, that seems much more attractive a prospect, even despite the increased lethality.