UK government may introduce licences for cleaning products

9th of August 2017
UK government may introduce licences for cleaning products

Corrosive cleaning fluids that could blind or disfigure members of the public may need to be regulated by the 1972 Poisons Act in the UK in future.

This means that shoppers would need a Home Office licence in order to buy such cleaning products - and stores would need a licence to sell them.

Following a spate of acid attacks in the UK, home secretary Amber Rudd is to review whether people should need to show identification before purchasing certain corrosive liquids such as household cleaners that contain acid.

"Acid attacks are horrific crimes," said Rudd. "It is vital we do everything we can to prevent these sickening attacks from happening."

A fifth of acid attackers are aged 18 or younger and under the new measures, proof of age would be required before such substances are purchased.

Other measures could include a requirement that all purchases are made by card so that they could be traced. And carrying acid could be treated in the same way as knife possession with a jail term of up to four years.

Shoppers who buy and storekeepers who stock substances such as nitric acid already need a Home Office licence to do so. Under the new rules, shopkeepers would have a legal duty to call a police hotline if they are suspicious of their customers' intent when buying an acid-based cleaner.

Statistics show that 1,375 acid attacks have been carried out in the UK since the start of 2015. And the number of attacks has doubled in the four years to 2016 with a 48 per cent rise between 2015 and 2016.


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