Delivery drivers are refusing to enter ‘no-go’ areas of London in the evening for fear of acid and knife attacks as the city now has more acid attacks per head of population than any other in the world.
In July, Police Commissioner Cressida Dick described the attacks as “completely barbaric,” and said until recently they were incredibly infrequent in the UK. “I don’t know where this sort of trend has come from,” Dick said, “but there are a number of other countries where they’re more used to this than we are. For example, I’ve known it in some Caribbean countries, and I think in South America they’ve been used.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan who described the attacks as “callous and horrific,” has called for better control over access to the substances, and clear sentencing guidelines for judges to apply the full force of the law. “The emotional impacts of disfiguring and lifelong scarring are truly devastating for innocent victims,” the mayor said.
And yet, acid attacks in London are increasing.
…Even MPs from the mayor’s own political party are now sounding the alarm on crime in the capital, with former Labour minister Stephen Timms demanding “serious action” on areas of London rendered “no-go zones” by acid attacks.
“I’ve had a number of discussions with representatives of moped delivery drivers and they say there are now parts of London where their drivers are not willing to go because of the danger of attack,” said the East Ham MP, who almost died at the hands of an Islamist woman who tried to stab him to death in 2010.
“I think all of us would regard it as unacceptable that there are no go areas in parts of London and parts of the UK. I think it requires some significant action to deal with the problem.”
Jabed Hussain, who was forced to give up his job as delivery driver after two men threw acid on him, said the Government is busy with international policy. “But what’s happening in London?” he asked. “The Government should look after us, look after the streets – that’s their job.”