ACID is to be classed as a dangerous weapon for the first time following a spate of attacks.
Corrosive substances are rated in the same category as knives in an overhaul of guidelines published by the Sentencing Council today.
It comes after home secretary Amber Rudd said those using noxious fluids as a weapon should ‘feel the full force of the law’.
She made her comments last year, after police reported more than 400 acid attacks in the UK in the six months up to April 2017.
The guidance to courts sets out punishments for possessing knives and other weapons, or using them to make threats. It states: ‘A highly dangerous weapon includes a corrosive substance (such as acid) … The court must determine whether the weapon is highly dangerous on the facts and circumstances of the case.’
The overhaul comes after a total of 5,324 of crimes involving an offensive weapon were reported in the three months to September last year — the highest quarterly figure since the summer of 2011.
The council also wants under-18s who film crimes to post them on social media to face tougher punishments. The new guidelines will come into force from June 1.