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Acid attacks: Trading Standards offers advice to businesses following rise in appalling crimes

Officers visited traders in Hammersmith and Fulham in a bid to stop the harmful substances falling into the wrong hands

The alarming rise in acid attacks in the capital has led to Trading Standards teams visiting businesses to offer advice on how to sell goods safely and responsibly.

Officers from the Hammersmith and Fulham team spoke to shops and traders on Monday (September 25) as part of London Trading Standards Week.

Shopkeepers were advised not sell corrosive substances to customers below the age of 18, and encouraged them to store such items behind the counter to reduce the chance of theft.

Attacks with corrosive substances have doubled in London over the past three years.

Cllr Wesley Harcourt, head of environment, transport and residents’ services said: “The safety of our residents is paramount which is why the work of our Trading Standards team is so important.

“Thankfully these horrific acid attacks are incredibly rare in our borough , but it is imperative we do all we can to ensure shopkeepers are responsible in how they sell items which could cause serious harm.

“This means not only selling items to people of appropriate age but storing them so that shoppers have to ask for them and they cannot be easily stolen.”

On the same day trading standards officers followed up on test purchases of knives, which cannot be told to under 18s.

Injuries sustained by a woman who was the victim of a Paddington acid attacker(Image: Met Police)

While there is no minimum age limit involved in the sale of corrosive substances, retailers were urged to act responsibly, and advised to adopt a Challenge 25 police for sale of both items.

This entails asking the shopper for proof of ID if they look younger than 25.

The council warns where the law is broken, legal action may be taken against those that have ignored previous advice about under-age sales.

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