A 16-YEAR-OLD has been arrested after series of acid attacks against scooter riders in London on Thursday night.
Two males on a scooter carried out five attacks in 90 minutes, throwing acid in victims’ faces and allegedly stealing two bikes in Islington, Stoke Newington and Hackney.
Police say they are investigating whether victims were targeted to steal their scooters.
A witness said he heard a victim, believed to be a delivery rider, “screaming in pain”, while one victim suffered injuries described as “life-changing”.
Shadow Home Secretary and Stoke Newington MP Dianne Abbott responded this morning by tweeting: 'More terrible acid attacks, Why would you scar someone for life just to steal a moped.'
More terrible acid attacks. Why would you scar someone for life just to steal a moped? https://t.co/7I180NGPNk
— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) July 14, 2017
The attacks began at 10.25pm on Hackney Road when a 32-year-old scooter rider was targeted by two males who pulled up alongside him. A substance was thrown in the victim's face before one of the attacks jumped on his scooter and rode away.
At 10.49, another man was reported to have had a corrosive substance thrown in his face by two men on a scooter in Islington.
At 11.05pm, a corrosive substance is reported to have been thrown into the face of a third victim by two men on a scooter in Shoreditch High Street.
At 11.18pm, a man is reported to have suffered a similar attack in Cazenove Road, Stoke Newington, and suffered facial injuries described as life changing.
In the fifth attack, at around 11.37pm, a scooter was stolen from a man in traffic on Chatsworth Road, Clapton, by two males, also on a scooter, who pulled up alongside and sprayed liquid in his face.
Hackney resident Jon Moody said he heard shouting and looked out of his window to "see a man in serious distress, he was screaming in pain.
"There were only two police officers with the victim, they took out two large water canisters and poured it over him."
He said a number of other delivery riders gathered at the scene following the attack.
A Met spokesman said a teenager was being questioned at an east London police station on suspicion of robbery and causing grievous bodily harm, and a line of inquiry was whether victims were targeted to steal their bikes.
Met Police figures show an increase in acid attacks in the capital from 216 in 2015 to 458 last year.
Met Commissioner Cressida Dick told LBC: "I don't want people to think this is happening all over London all the time, it is really not, but we are concerned because the numbers appear to be going up.”
— Sarah Cobbold (@sarah_cobbold) July 13, 2017