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  1. ITV Report

People caught carrying acid twice in public could face a minimum of six-months in jail

People protest against acid attacks. Photo: PA

People who are caught twice with corrosive substances in public will automatically face a prison sentence of at least six months under government proposals to counter the threat of acid attacks.

The Home Office proposals form part of a drive to tackle the recent spike in acid attacks in the UK.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd also announced at the Conservative Party conference that shops will no longer be able to sell acids to people under 18. She said: "Acid attacks are absolutely revolting.

"You have all seen the pictures of victims who never fully recover - endless surgeries, lives ruined."

Assaults using corrosive substances have more than doubled in England since 2012.

Under the new legislation an individual caught possessing a corrosive substance would have to prove they had good reason for carrying it.

The approach will be modelled on a system rolled out in 2015 for offenders repeatedly caught with knives.

The punishment is at least six months' imprisonment for adults, while young offenders face a minimum four-month detention and training order.

Police figures show there were 408 attacks using corrosive substances between November 2016 and April this year.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "All forms of violent crime are totally unacceptable, which is why we are taking action to restrict access to offensive weapons and crack down on those who carry acids with the intent to do harm."

Home Office Minister and MP for Truro and Falmouth Sarah Newton believes that, because of their devastating consequences, we should treat corrosive substances in a similar way to knives.