Tackling Acid Attacks: Reducing Violent Crime & Supporting Victims
Tackling Acid Attacks: Reducing Violent Crime & Supporting Victims

Tackling Acid Attacks: Reducing Violent Crime & Supporting Victims

Date of Event: Thursday, July 8th 2021


Key Speakers Include:

Dr Simon Harding, Professor of Criminology at the University of West London

Sheldon Thomas, Founder of Gangsline

Cherie Johnson, Expert on Girls in Gangs

Dr Matt Hopkins, Associate Professor at the University Leicester

Nurun Nahar Begum, Senior Programme Officer at ActionAid Bangladesh

Diana Garrisi, Assistant Professor at the Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Event Details Website Register to Attend

Per capita the UK has one of the highest rates of recorded acid attacks in the world. According to Acid Survivors Trust International, in the year leading up to March 2020 there were 619 crimes committed in the UK where corrosive substances were used – a 37% increase since 2017. Research suggests that many of the attacks are part of gang related activities and that acid is becoming the weapon of choice. The issue has improved in the UK capital though. Acid attacks in London peaked in 2017 at 472 and have steadily fallen in the subsequent years (123 in 2019), suggesting that police and other stakeholders can make changes to reduce the prevalence of acid attacks nationwide.

The Offensive Weapons Act passed in 2019 is the first piece of UK legislation to refer to corrosive substances, and has made it an offence to possess a corrosive substance in a public place and to sell certain harmful corrosive products to under 18s. Following on from the 2017 expansion of stop and search powers more generally, in 2019 the then Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, provided the police with further stop and search powers to help them target those using corrosive materials illegally. The government have also committed to increasing police numbers, which proponents claim will help counter violent crime and remove dangerous substances from UK streets. 

While the current pandemic has suppressed the number of acid attacks over the last 12 months, there are concerns that the lockdown and subsequent recession could be a catalyst for the drivers of these attacks resulting in a sudden spike. The forced closure of youth centres during the pandemic and concerns about their future funding has raised fears of a return to the austerity era mass closure of youth centres, which was seen as a root cause of youth and gang violence. Furthermore, the last 12 months have thrown up new challenges particularly for victims of acid attacks, who are often left with both physical and mental trauma for many years after the attacks. The lack of access to rehabilitation services that address common effects of acid attacks like loss of sight, loss of limbs and depression means that victims have been acutely affected by the last year. 

This symposium therefore offers police officers, community wardens, acid attack support groups and local authority members the opportunity to evaluate how the reemergence from lockdown could lead to a spike in acid attacks, develop new ideas to support victims, and to share best practice in preventing this cruel form of both gang and honour based violence.


  • Examine the Offensive Weapons Act and how it will support tackling acid attacks
  • Establish an understanding of the motive behind acid attacks and how they relate to other serious crimes including gang violence and honour based violence
  • Discuss how Covid-19 has affected victims of acid attacks and innovative methods employed to support them during lockdown
  • Analyse the best approaches for police to take when tackling acid attacks in local areas
  • Learn how those who have committed acid attacks can be successfully rehabilitated and reenter the community
  • Discover approaches to best supporting those whose life has been affected by acid attacks
  • Uncover the causes for the significant growth in acid attacks since the early 2010s
  • Understand the impact of ‘stop and search’ policies and how to utilise them effectively
  • Learn how retailers can help in the reduction of the sale of corrosive materials to dangerous individuals
  • Discuss preventative measures including, police officers carrying acid testing kits

To register for this briefing, please click here.


Please feel free to circulate this information on to any relevant colleagues.

Kind regards, Conference Team

Public Policy Exchange
Tel: 020 3137 8630
Fax: 020 3137 1459

In Spain, 9 Catalan separatists were pardoned

The opposition described the act as a blow to democracy

The Spanish government has unanimously approved Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s proposal to pardon nine of the politicians in prison for holding the illegal referendum on Catalonia’s independence in 2017.

They are to be released from prison after King Felipe VI signs a decree releasing them, but the Supreme Court is ready to pardon them immediately. According to analysts, this will avoid criticism of the monarch by Spanish citizens, most of whom do not approve of the amnesty, Bulgarian National Radio reported.

As an explicit condition for pardons, it is stated that the 9 politicians should not commit other crimes in the next between 3 and 6 years, otherwise their sentences will come into force again and they will be imprisoned.

In addition, the ban on holding public office remains, which has provoked an angry reaction from the Catalan government, and local Parliament Speaker Laura Boras has said she will give a formal reception in honor of her convicted colleagues.

This comes just a day after the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg approved a resolution calling for independence leaders to be released and for Spain to reform its legislation on penalties for riots against the country’s constitutional order.

The opposition, represented by the People’s Party, Citizens and Vox, called the pardons a “blow to democracy” and said it would appeal and vote no confidence in the government, and parties seeking an independent Catalonia considered them “Insufficient”.

There have already been thousands of protests against them in Madrid and other cities in the country, and the prosecutor’s office and the Supreme Court have ruled in advance that they are not advisable and will weaken the rule of law in the country.

Zelensky set conditions for Russia to open Russian schools in Ukraine
Zelensky set conditions for Russia to open Russian schools in Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelenskyy told RIA Novosti that Russian schools in Ukraine will appear only if Ukrainian ones are opened in Russia. He spoke about this in an interview with foreign media, the text of which was published by the press service of the president’s office.

“They ask me how to solve the problem with schools, with languages? I say: you just need to respect each other, and everything will be fine,” the Ukrainian leader explained.

He stressed that there are many private schools in Ukraine, for example, English, and in the future there will be Hungarian ones.

“If you want a Russian school, let’s open a Ukrainian school in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tyumen, where many Ukrainians live. This is called a“ povaga, ”Zelensky concluded.

The language law in Ukraine was adopted in April 2019. It obliges to communicate exclusively in Ukrainian in almost all spheres of life: in government bodies, schools, universities and hospitals, in shops and cafes, in courts, the army, the police, during the election campaign and referendums. An exception was made only for private communication and religious rituals.

All Russian-language schools in Ukraine have switched to teaching in Ukrainian since September 1, 2020. According to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, 125 state Russian-language schools, as well as 43 private schools, functioned in the country at the end of the 2019 academic year (cf. Gabrielyan, A.M. Native language in the sphere of secondary education in Crimea as a reflection of the linguistic picture of the peninsula // Humanitarian paradigm. 2018. No. 4 [7] p. 15–32.)

On the other hand in Crimea, there are 15 general educational organizations with the Crimean Tatar language of instruction (224 classes, 4258 students) and one school with the Ukrainian language of instruction (9 classes, 144 students).

Schools of Crimea with the study of native languages ​​and teaching in languages ​​other than Russian According to the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth of the Republic of Crimea [3], in the 2017-2018 academic year, 196.5 thousand children were enrolled in 527 municipal educational institutions of the Republic of Crimea. Of these, 5.6 thousand (3%) are in the Crimean Tatar language, 318 students (0.2%) are in Ukrainian. In the 2017-2018 academic year in Crimea, there were 15/162 educational organizations with the Crimean Tatar language of instruction – 202 classes, 3753 students. On the basis of general educational institutions with Russian as the language of instruction, classes with the Crimean Tatar language of instruction have been opened (in 31 schools there are 133 classes, 1879 students).

In educational institutions of the Republic of Crimea, the study of the following native languages ​​is organized in various forms: – Crimean Tatar – 21.6 thousand students, – Ukrainian – 10.6 thousand students, – Armenian – 97 students, – Bulgarian – 73 students, – Greek – 343 pupils (of whom 94 pupils study as a native, 249 study as a second foreign language), – German – 58 pupils.

The little woman who started the big war
The little woman who started the big war

210 years since the birth of Harriet Beecher Stowe

Every child who has started reading knows her name. Because she is the author of one of the most beloved children’s novels – “Uncle Tom’s cabin”. Her name is Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe – an American writer, mother of many children, free-thinking person and fighter against the slavery of colored people in America. Lincoln called her “the little woman who started the great war.”

She is emancipated and courageous, and no one suspects that she has struggled with anxiety throughout her conscious life. She died mentally ill. On June 14 this year It is 210 years since the birth of Harriet Beecher Stowe. She was born on this day in 1811. He is the author of more than 30 books in various genres, many essays, poems, articles and anthems.

Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Lichfield, Connecticut, to a pastor. Her mother, Roxana Beecher, died when she was just five. Her father, Calvinist preacher Lyman Beecher, had a total of 13 children from two marriages. 11 of them survive to adulthood. From his marriage to Roxana Beecher, he had eight children – two girls and six boys. Lyman Beecher openly preached against slavery. All seven of his sons followed him on this mission. One of his sons, Henry Ward Beecher, even became directly involved in the abolitionist movement in Nebraska and Kansas and sent them weapons hidden in Bible boxes.

At 25, he married the widowed husband of his girlfriend, Calvin Ellis Stowe, also a teacher. For the first few years, they lived in poverty, but Harriet was respected for her husband’s culture, although some of her biographers later suggested that she “knew languages ​​and nothing else.”

Raised in a large family where the children share and help, Harriet also wanted her husband to have many children. In 14 years she has given birth to seven children and takes care of the home so that her husband can do his job in peace. She herself does not allow the care of the children to hinder her growth as a person. Meanwhile, cholera took the life of one of her children at an early age. Little Samuel, her sixth child, died of cholera in 1849.

This tragic event crushed her – she suffered the loss badly, but she had to accept God’s will and not to shake her faith. She found solace in home care and intellectual pursuits. You were constantly setting new goals. Together with her sister, they wrote a textbook on geography – “Geography for children”.

Her first publications were in a magazine. He began publishing his short stories and essays in a magazine, and even won a literary award from the Western Montley Shop. In 1843 he published his first book, Mayflower, after the Puritan settlers in America. In 1850, her husband Calvin Stowe received an offer of a professorship in Maine, and the family moved there.

In the same year, the US Congress passed a law against the escape of slaves and against the citizens who assisted them. Civil protests begin. Outrage is rising in many states in America.

It was then that Stowe’s idea for the novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was born.

Harriet Beecher Stowe already had a name after the positive response to her publication “The Freeman’s Dream: A Parable”, for which she received as much as $ 100 from the editor of “The National Era” newspaper. , The National Era paid Stowe a fee of $ 300 for the 43 chapters of Uncle Tom’s Cottage, published on March 20, 1852, and sold 10,000 copies in the first week alone. By the end of the same year, another 300,000 had been sold, and there was even more interest in the work in the United Kingdom, where 1.5 million copies of the book had been sold in one year. Stowe received ten cents for each piece sold. According to an article in the London Times, published six months after the publication of the novel, in that period alone the writer already had more than 10 thousand dollars in copyright.

“We think this is the largest amount a writer has ever received, whether American or European, from selling a single work in such a short period of time,” the newspaper said.

“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is being translated all over the world. It is translated into 40 languages. Among these translations, there were some that were not authorized. Stowe filed a lawsuit against the publisher of the Philadelphia-based German-language newspaper, the Free Press, FW Thomas.

Her income from “Uncle Tom’s Cottage” allowed her to buy a winter house in 1867 in Mandarin, Florida. Some point to a fact about this property, namely that the mansion was maintained by slaves before the writer bought it, and consider it paradoxical. She herself viewed this fact in a completely opposite way – that the energy of this place, created by the labor of the people for whose rights she, her brothers and father fought, deserves to be inhabited by people like her, not by slaveholders. For her, the mansion was something of a symbol of victory over slavery. Point of view.

The most glorious moment in the writer’s life was her meeting in the White House with President Abraham Lincoln, in the first days of the Civil War – in 1862. He greets her kindly, and notes with sympathy her small stature with an ingenious joke: “So you are the little woman from whom the great war began!”. According to some sources, the exact phrase is, “So this is the little woman who got us into this great civil war,” but anyway, the meaning of both expressions is the same. Their meeting was friendly.

The novel, the comments about him and the meeting with the president turn the writer into a celebrity. She receives invitations from many publications to work for them. Harriet Beecher Stowe became the most famous woman in America. Everyone admires her courage.

The Netherlands is starting to pay compensation to the victims of Srebrenica
The Netherlands is starting to pay compensation to the victims of Srebrenica

The Potocari Commission has opened an office in Sarajevo for potential plaintiffs

The Netherlands begins paying compensation to the families of victims of the Srebrenica massacre.

The Potocari Compensation Commission opened an office in Sarajevo for potential plaintiffs, and its website is open to reports from family members of people killed after being taken away by a Dutch peacekeeping base in Potocari, near Srebrenica, in July 1995. , reports BIRN.

However, some relatives of the victims refused to file a lawsuit because they were dissatisfied with the legal agreement imposed by a Dutch court, according to which the country should not reimburse all legal expenses incurred by the families concerned.

On July 11, 1995, when the Republika Srpska army occupied Srebrenica, Dutch security forces in the UN-controlled area did not prevent the genocide. More than 7,000 men and boys were killed.

In 2019, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands ruled that the state was responsible to a very limited extent for the deaths of approximately 350 victims. This concerns a group of men taken from the base of the Dutch battalion in the late afternoon of 13 July 1995. According to the Supreme Court, the battalion acted illegally because it knew that male Srebrenica refugees could be attacked or killed, but even if left at the base, they had only a 10% chance of survival.

Accordingly, the closest relatives of these 350 victims can hold the Netherlands responsible for 10% of the damage. Earlier, the Court of Appeal in The Hague ruled that the responsibility of the Dutch state was 30%, so the “Mothers of Srebrenica” referred the case to the European Court of Human Rights. They hope that the court in Strasbourg will return the level of responsibility to 30%, although their lawyer Simone van der Sluis believes that the chances are small.

Widows of survivors or first-generation relatives can also file multiple lawsuits. For example, in the case when a woman loses both her husband and her son. The amount of compensation under this regulation is EUR 15,000 for widows and EUR 10,000 for other surviving relatives.

Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic has lost his appeal against a 2017 sentence for genocide and crimes against humanity.

UN court upholds Ratko Mladic’s life sentence for his role in the 1995 killing of some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) men and boys in Srebrenica.

US President Joe Biden welcomes the sentence of the former Bosnian Serb military leader.

“This historic sentence shows that those who commit horrific crimes will be held accountable,” the president said in a statement.

Thousands of Bulgarians facing deportation from Britain over Brexit
Thousands of Bulgarians facing deportation from Britain over Brexit

More than 15,000 Bulgarian citizens have been denied residence

Brexit could end in deportation for thousands of Bulgarians living on the island. The deadline to settle their status in the UK expires in three weeks.

Certainly, after July 1, Bulgarians who cannot prove their right to live in Britain will have serious problems.

To date, 258,000 Bulgarian nationals have received permission to continue living, working and studying in the Kingdom. 15,000 were refused. The situation raises fears of mass deportation of Bulgarians after July 1, bTV reports.

After this date, schools in the UK are required to notify the Home Office if they suspect that students or their parents are not allowed to live on the Island.

Another problem is the fact that this year the personal documents of tens of thousands of Bulgarians expire. According to our ambassador in London Marin Raykov, administrative services for nearly 200,000 Bulgarians, as much as the population of Burgas, are provided by the available only 10 employees in the consular office of the embassy. The first free hour for replacement of documents in the service is after 6 months.

Citizens from central and eastern Europe most vulnerable to deportation in post-Brexit Britain.

Racism towards citizens from the poorest Member States influenced Britain’s pre-Brexit deportations and could impact post-Brexit practice, warns the BRAD project.

CEEU citizens were most targeted, partly due to their negative image, and because they often couldn’t afford immigration lawyers.

“There was a representational pattern in the pro-Leave media of the ‘Vile Eastern European’ – the criminal coming to the United Kingdom from the ‘new Member States’, who is a threat to public security and moral order with his innate criminality,” says research fellow Agnieszka Radziwinowiczówna. With support from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, Radziwinowiczówna analysed pro-Leave and pro-Remain British press, Polish media, deportation regulations and policy.