Medway retailers set to challenge customers looking under 25 over sale of acid

PUBLISHED: 09:47 13 October 2017

Corrosive substances are increasing being used in crimes

Corrosive substances are increasing being used in crimes


A council motion received cross-party support on Thursday

A proposal to challenge anyone looking under the age of 25 to provide ID as proof of age when buying corrosive substances has been approved by Medway Council.

Labour councillors put forward the motion ahead of a meeting of the full council in Chatham on Thursday, amid mounting concerns about acid attacks which have been used across the country.

The home secretary confirmed earlier this week new laws are to be introduced to control the sale of such substances to under 18s. But the unitary authority has now declared it wants action taken now.

A similar scheme has recently been introduced in the London borough of Newham, where scores of retailers have already agreed to operate Challenge 25 rules.

The motion reads: “This council notes the disturbing rise of violent crime across the country involving the use of corrosive substances and requests the cabinet and relevant council officers to encourage retailers across Medway to participate in a voluntary Challenge 25 system for the sale of these potentially dangerous products.”

Dan McDonald, Medway Labour’s licensing spokesman, said: “New legislation is long overdue and cannot come quickly enough in the wake of a sickening rise in the use of acid as a weapon in violent crime.

“Such a ban is beyond the power of Medway Council to enact, but we have taken an important step towards restricting access to these substances.

“I am sure responsible retailers in Medway will, like those in Newham where there have been several high-profile acid attacks in recent months, embrace a plan to make the streets of Medway safer.”

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