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Government introduces tough new measures to prevent acid attacks

Retailers encouraged to sign up to Voluntary Agreement to support the fight against these crimes

As the Government introduces tough new measures to prevent acid attacks, including a two year sentence for anyone caught carrying sulphuric acid above 15% concentration without a licence, it is important for independent retailers who stock and sell such products legitimately to know they do not fall under this enforcement.

Andrew Goodacre, bira CEO said: “bira represents thousands of hardware stores across Britain, many of whom legitimately sell products containing regulated substances. Our members take the sale of these very seriously and we fully support the need for better monitoring of the purchases and acknowledge the need for retailers to check ages and monitor the sale of regulated substances.

“We support and have worked with the Government on the Voluntary Agreement, which gets retailers to agree to sell corrosive substances responsibly, including not selling products containing the most harmful substances to under 18s and applying Challenge 21/25 policies. If retailers are in doubt they must ask for ID from anyone purchasing these products. Retailers also have a duty to keep records of suspicious enquiries and must report any lost or stolen stock to the police.

“We’d like to see more guidelines and training for retailers, to support with their obligation of reporting suspicious transactions, significant losses or thefts, so that the process doesn’t impact on general and legitimate business transactions.

“Furthermore we hope that employees will receive more protection from the authorities when confronted by customers they have refused to serve.”

Retailers can get more information and sign up to the Voluntary Agreement here: