Two teenagers were arrested in connection with a string of acid attacks in Hackney and Islington on Thursday night.
Police said two males, aged 15 and 16, carried out five attacks on their moped in Hackney, Stoke Newington and Islington during a spree lasting less than 90 minutes.
At 10:25pm in Hackney Road a 32-year-old man on a moped suffered facial injuries after two male riders approached him and threw a corrosive substance in his face. One of the attackers stole the victim’s vehicle and the other made off on the moped they arrived on.
Following the attack in Hackney Road, police said two men on a moped threw an abrasive chemical at a man in Islington at 10:49pm.
Two males on a moped in Shoreditch High Street threw a corrosive substance in the face of a man at 11:05pm. Police said the victim was taken to the hospital and the injuries are not believed to be life threatening or life changing.
Police received reports of a robbery in Cazenove Road, Stoke Newington at around 11:18pm. Officers at the scene said a corrosive substance was thrown onto a man whose facial injuries have been described as “life changing”.
At 11:37pm, a man in his mid-20s had his moped stolen after two men pulled up alongside him and squirted a noxious liquid in his face in Chatsworth Road, Clapton.
All of the victims were taken to hospitals for treatment.
Chief Inspector Ben Clark said:
“These are hideous offences and must have been very frightening for all of the victims. I’m aware of rumours circulating that the victims were all food delivery riders set up in advance of the attacks. This is not the case. All victims were riding mopeds at the time of the attacks, but were from a variety of backgrounds.
“Of late we have seen more attacks using corrosive substances in London. I would urge businesses and parents to challenge those who they think may be trying to obtain or carry these substances as this could help prevent serious offences and life changing injuries being caused.”
Both teenagers are currently in custody at an north London police station after being arrested “on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and robbery”. Police arrested the fifteen-year-old suspect at a Stoke Newington address this morning. The sixteen-year-old suspect was arrested after he was identified by CCTV footage.
Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott responded to the attacks on Twitter:
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
Figures from The Met show a shocking rise in acid attacks in London with 261 offences in 2015, rising to 458 last year.
Hackney CID has urged anyone with information or in possession of footage of these incidents to contact police on 101 or tweet @MetCC.