The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called for further clarity on the corrosive substances the government hopes to clamp down on in the wake of a spate of acid attacks.
Drain cleaning agents, bleach, household cleaners, laundry stain removers and oven cleaners are examples of corrosive products that can found all over the UK in many retailers.
Home secretary Amber Rudd told the Conservative Party conference she was announcing “a new offence to prevent the sale of acids to under-18s” and her intention to “drastically limit the public sale of sulphuric acid” given its use in the production of so-called “mother of Satan homemade explosives”.
She also told delegates she would consult on a new offence of possession of a corrosive substance in public without a good or lawful reason.
This will be designed to place the onus on the individual caught in possession to explain why they were carrying it, rather than on the police to prove that it was intended for use as a weapon.
James Lowman, chief executive of the ACS, said: “We support clarity from the Home Office on the rules around the sale of products that could be used to commit acid attacks, which we will reflect in our assured advice to retailers if that includes an age restriction on such products.
“The majority of convenience stores do not sell products that are covered by the explosive precursors regulations, so we would welcome further clarity on the details of which products are intended to be covered by the proposed restrictions.”