School of Criminology

Qualitative and quantitative research into the motivations of offenders who carry and use acid and other corrosives in violent attacks and other criminal acts

Commissioned by the Home Office, this project is being led by Dr Matt HopkinsProfessor Teela Sanders and Dr Lucy Neville. The work forms part of the commitment made by the Home Secretary in the Acid Attack Action Plan (announced in July 2017) to conduct research to explore the motivations of offenders who use corrosive substances (such as acid) in violent and other criminal acts.

The research is being conducted between November 2017 and June 2018 and comprises of three main strands. First, working with five police force areas, a case tracking exercise will analyse the details of up 200 cases where a corrosive substance was used. Second, detailed interviews will be conducted with up to 50 offenders convicted for offences where corrosive substances were decanted. Finally, a number of interviews will be conducted with experts in the field to identify how preventative strategies might by developed in future. Potentially the findings of the work could impact upon the law in relation to the sale of corrosive substances, police stop and search powers, first responses to acid attack incidents and the sentencing of offenders.

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