According to the Newham Recorder there have been 415 acid attacks in the borough since 2010. Press coverage of these attacks amounted to much less than 415 column inches. But after a high profile incident during Easter weekend, when clubgoers in Dalston were sprayed with a corrosive substance, suddenly everyone’s talking about the problem of acid attacks.
So what is being said? And is the extent of the problem now being exaggerated?
University student Shima, 21, says: “I think the attack should be on the news and it should be circulating because when there’s a terror attack, EVERYONE knows about it, there’s a huge amount of coverage.”
Nasimah, a Newham nurse, thinks “there should be more law enforcement about where people can buy acid and cleaning products from. Even then there are black markets. I think there needs to be more law enforcement and investigations into why people do this. It could be psychological.
“I think it’s a disgrace. It scared me because this isn’t the first time I have heard about these attacks. It is a worry but it should not stop you from going out. It should not dictate your life!”
Anisah, 22, believes that “stories about this acid attack are circulating on WhatsApp and I think they just almost make it worse than it is, to the point where people are worried to go outside. It is almost like Chinese whispers, where you hear one thing and then something slightly different. I think it sensationalises these attacks.”