Number of acid attacks in London 2002-2018

In the space of a few years the number of acid attacks in London increased from just 78 in 2012 to 495 in 2017. Although overall crime in London has also risen in a similar time period, this type of attack has grown at a far more rapid rate. Most acid attacks in 2017 were committed by young men against other young men, while many of the targets are people riding mopeds. The number of acid attacks in 2018 fell by approximately 160 offences when compared with 2017, to 310.

Links with moped crime
Once moped riders have been incapacitated by acid attackers, their often have their mopeds stolen, which are then used to commit further crimes. In fact, moped crime has risen much more dramatically than acid attacks, reaching over 23 thousand offences in 2017, which when compared with 2013 represents an increase of more than 22 thousand.

Violent crime in the capital
A broader look at other offences in London shows that it has increased in several important categories. The reporting year 2017/18 saw an increase of 53 homicides, and over 2.6 thousand knife crime offences compared with 2016/17.

Number of violent corrosive fluid offences recorded by the London Metropolitan Police from 2002 to 2018

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Release date

January 2019


United Kingdom (England)

Survey time period

2002 to 2018

Supplementary notes

The source adds the following information: "Corrosive Fluid Attack Offences" include offences flagged with the CB feature code recorded within the offence categories 'Violence Against the Person' (VATP), Sexual Offences, Robbery and Burglary.

* The Metropolitan Police cover all of Greater London except for the one-square mile which is covered by the City of London Police.

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Statistics on "Crime in London (UK)"

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