Cllr Andy Hull, Executive Member for Finance, Performance and Community Safety, responds to the Government's policy announcement aimed to regulate the purchase of acids.
As you may have heard, the Home Secretary has announced at last a new government policy to prevent the sale of acids to under-18s. This comes after Islington Council’s own calls for local businesses to avoid selling acid to under-18s and to adopt a ‘Challenge 25’ approach to the sale of corrosive substances. The scheme is already widely and successfully used across the UK for products such as alcohol and tobacco.
Islington Council called on shops in the borough to use the approach to regulate the buying of acids. We also called on retailers not to stock corrosive substances in locations where they can easily be stolen, such as shop entrances.
Whilst it remains unclear exactly how the government plans to prevent the sale of acids to under-18s with its new policy, the announcement comes not a moment too soon.
In Islington, we have already taken action, sending out leaflets to relevant businesses in the borough and to local traders’ associations, encouraging them to use the Challenge 25 scheme – where teenagers and young adults attempting to buy acid are asked to present a form of ID to prove they are over 18.
Islington Council also supports tougher penalties for those who do use acid and corrosive substances as weapons.
We hope to see some movement from Government on that front soon too.
Pictured - Cllr Andy Hull, Executive Member for Finance, Performance and Community Safety