Saturday, September 22   Sign in or Register
Evangelical Focus
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud

Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.

Faith and political views
In my church...



UK Parliament

Calls for tougher sentences amidst alarming rise in acid attacks

Christian MP Stephen Timms: “Carrying acid should be an offence like carrying a knife”. In 2017, more than 450 attacks were reported in London alone.

SOURCES UK Parliament, Premier Christianity AUTHOR Evangelical Focus LONDON 19 JULY 2017 17:45 h GMT+1
Christian Labour MP, Stephen Timms.

Christian Labour Member of the UK parliament Stephen Timms led a debate on the 15th July, calling for measures to tackle an alarming rise in acid attacks.

There were over 450 such crimes in London last year, a big rise from 261 incidents in 2015. One third of these crimes occurred in Timm's constituency, Newham.

Last Thursday night, five people were assaulted in London in less than 90 minutes. A 16-year-old boy has been charged with 15 offences, including grievous bodily harm and possession of an item to discharge a noxious substance.



“I want to press the minister for two specific changes to the law, Timms started saying.

“Firstly, that carrying acid should be an offence in exactly the same way that carrying a knife today is an offence. Secondly, there should be a requirement for a licence in order to purchase sulphuric acid.”

According to the Labour MP, “the much greater worry is that acid is becoming a preferred weapon for gangs carrying out robberies.”

“It’s easy to obtain, it’s cheap, it’s hard to trace back to the perpetrator, and while it’s relatively hard to obtain a gun, knives are more tightly restricted, criminals seem to have concluded that acid is a less risky weapon for them to commit violent crimes”, he pointed out.

“What I think we need to do, and I’m sure the minister will agree, is make acid more risky than it has been seen to be in the last two or three years”, he added.



Lyn Brown, Labour MP for West Ham, also backed regulation of sales online, saying: “We need to make sure that we control those substances too, because sales will move online if it’s not possible to buy at the corner shop.”

Conservative MP for Waveney Peter Aldou cited the case of Adele Bellis, a constituent he said had suffered a “horrific” acid attack.

“In Adele’s view, there is a need for clearer and tougher sentencing guidelines. It must never be forgotten that those who are victims of acid attacks carry a life sentence.

After the last week acid attack, London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, also said that “judges should sentence those convicted of carrying acid just as harshly as those guilty of carrying other offensive weapons”, and urged the government to adopt a “zero tolerance approach.”


Police helping acid attacks victims n London. / Reuters.



After all the MP spoke, Sarah Newton, the Home Office Minister, started saying that “it is clear that the use of acids and other corrosives to attack people is a growing threat that must be addressed with urgency.”

Earlier this month, the Home Office held a joint event with the National Police Chiefs Council. It brought together law enforcement, Government, retailers, the NHS, experts and local policing to discuss the acid attacks and build up a better evidence picture.

“That meeting provided the basis for the action plan to tackle acid attacks. The action plan will include a wide-ranging review of the law enforcement and criminal justice response, existing legislation, access to harmful products and the support offered to victims” the Minister explained.

Newton assured the MP that “the points raised will be actively considered as part of that review.”



“Work will also take place with retailers, including online, to agree measures to restrict sales of acid and other corrosive substances. Victim support needs to be at the very heart of our response. We need to make sure that victims get the support they need, now and in the years ahead”, she added.

The Home Office Minister reminded MP that “the law in this area is already strong, with acid attackers facing up to a life sentence in prison in certain cases.”

“We will make sure that those who commit these terrible crimes feel the full force of the law. We will seek to ensure that everyone working in the criminal justice system, from police officers to prosecutors, has the powers they need severely to punish those who commit these appalling crimes.”



Stephen Timms asked Newton if she was able to tell the parliament when she expects the review announced by the Home Secretary to conclude and the final outcomes to be announced.

“I cannot commit myself tonight to a particular time by which we will complete the work. It is so wide ranging that, while some elements will be relatively easy to bring to fruition, others will require a longer period”, she answered.

“Some may require changes in legislation, in which case we will seek the earliest possible legislative opportunity”, Newton pointed out.

However, “I absolutely commit myself to the seriousness with which we are taking this issue, and to the urgency, the vigour, and the resources that we are bringing to bear in the Home Office to co-ordinate a whole-system response”, she said.

“There is simply no place in 21st-century Britain for such hate-filled, utterly devastating attacks, and we will do absolutely everything we can to prevent them”, Newton concluded.




    If you want to comment, or


YOUR ARE AT: - - Calls for tougher sentences amidst alarming rise in acid attacks
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.


How does romantic love change over time? How does romantic love change over time?

Psychatrist Pablo Martínez uses a metaphor to explain how romantic love evolves.

‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility

Author Bruce Little: “We have moved from a sense of responsibility to ‘my personal rights’”.

Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’ Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’

How can we reach those who call themselves ‘Christians’ but have not experienced a conversion to Christ? Forty missiologists and mission practitioners came together for a Lausanne Movement global consultation in Rome.

Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube

EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.