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Medway Labour group call for tougher laws on selling corrosive substances

By Amy Nickalls

A council has agreed to toughen up laws on the sale of acid after a series of attacks.

In a bid to combat the growing number of incidents nationally, Medway Labour Group called for a challenge 25 system on the sale of corrosive substances.

Cllr Dan Macdonald presented the motion at last night's full council meeting at St George’s Centre in Pembroke Road, which gained cross-party support.

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There are calls for tougher laws on selling acid
There are calls for tougher laws on selling acid

Labour's Councillor Tristan Osborne also called for education in schools to help raise awareness of the tougher rules.

The Home Secretary announced new laws to control the sale of these substances to under 18s in her speech at the Conservative party conference last week.

At the meeting, the opposition group called for Medway to raise this to under 21 in Medway and for anyone who looks under 25 to be told to prove their age.

Speaking before the meeting, Cllr Dan McDonald, Medway Labour licensing spokesman, said: “New legislation is long overdue and cannot come quickly enough in the wake of a sickening rise in the use of acid as a weapon in violent crime.

WATCH: KMTV's Harry Peet has been investigating the rise in acid attacks

“Such a ban is beyond the power of Medway Council to enact, but we can take an important step towards restricting access to these substances on Thursday.

“We hope Conservative colleagues join us to support this motion.

“I am sure responsible retailers in Medway will, like those in Newham where there have been several high-profile acid attacks in recent months, embrace a plan to make the streets of Medway safer.”

Dan MacDonald
Dan MacDonald

The meeting also included pre-prepared questions from members of the public and councillors for members of the cabinet.

They covered topics including the cost of Rochester Town Council, public toilets, computer issues, sure start centres and inadequate services in Hoo.

Cllr Jarrett also put forward a motion to give Army Reserves the freedom of Medway as a mark of admiration for their bravery and commitment.

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