Disfiguring, corrosive substances are being used indiscriminately against members of the public in muggings and carjackings.
Over the past few months, there has been a dramatic escalation of such attacks, with the reasons not hard to fathom. Caustic fluids are cheap and easily available on the High Street.
They work quickly and can be thrown from a distance. Just carrying a gun or a knife is a criminal offence, but — shockingly — there is no penalty if you are caught in possession of acid-based chemicals.
The criminals know how to spin the police:
Extraordinarily, attempts to tackle these violent thefts are being hampered by Home Office guidelines governing the pursuit of such suspects.
The rules, placing a greater emphasis on officers to justify such pursuits, or risk being disciplined, were introduced in 2014, following the death of a teenager who lost control of his scooter during a chase.
Suspects make a mockery of the new rules by deliberately removing their helmets as they flee the scenes of crime.
Knives, guns, cars or acid are not the problem. The issue is barbarians who have no respect for property or human life. One can take all the "bad" weapons away from them and still a wicked man can kill you with his bare fists.