The number of acid attacks in Hertfordshire last year has been revealed by Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd.

Cllr Jon Hale raised the issue following the recent acid attack in Clapham and reports that the number of attacks has increased across the UK.

But – speaking at a meeting of Hertfordshire County Council’s public health and community safety cabinet panel – Mr Lloyd said they were fortunate not to have seen an upward trend in Hertfordshire.

He told councillors that in the last year there had been two ‘actual’ acid attacks in Hertfordshire – with a further three further accounts of alleged possession.

He said there were six further recorded uses of pepper spray, which is not a corrosive liquid but causes temporary pain and so is recorded.

“We are fortunate not to have seen an upward trend in recent years,” he said. “In 2021/22 there were 12 such offences and in 2022/23 there were nine.”

Cllr Sunny Thusu, a surgeon and a member of the National Panel for Facial Injuries, said that the highest recorded number of acid attacks in England came in 2017 and was in excess of 900.

He said that by 2022 that number had decreased to around 421 – but had increased significantly in 2023, to 710.

He also reported to the panel that more than half of these attacks are reported in the North West of England, and reassured councillors that they remain "exceedingly rare".