Scotland Yard today launched an appeal for witnesses after a spate of acid attacks left one person with life-changing injuries and severely injured four others in north-east London. The Metropolitan Police said the 90-minute spree of five attacks began last night. Two men on a moped carried out the attacks in Hackney, Stoke Newington and Islington area of the city in incidents the Metropolitan Police believe may be "linked". "A 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and robbery. He is currently in custody at an east London police station.
Enquiries are ongoing and officers from Hackney CID are investigating," the Met Police said. The first victim had been on a moped when another moped, with two male riders, pulled up alongside him. The attackers threw a corrosive substance in the victim's face, with one stealing the victim's vehicle and the other making off on the moped they arrived on, the Met Police said. "The man was taken to an east London hospital. His injuries are not being treated as life threatening or life changing," the police said. Following this incident, a corrosive substance was reported to have been thrown in the face of another man by two males on a moped in Shoreditch High Street. The victim was taken to hospital and his injuries are also not believed life threatening or life changing. Minutes later, Met Police received a call to a robbery in Cazenove Road where a corrosive substance had been thrown. Officers attended and found a man in his mid-20s suffering from facial injuries. He was taken to an east London hospital. His injuries are described as "life-changing" and a crime scene remains in place. A fourth incident was reported to police at Chatsworth Road and a man told police he had been on his moped in traffic when two males on another moped pulled up alongside him and sprayed liquid in his face. They stole his moped and made off. The victim made his way to his home address before contacting police. He was taken to an east London hospital and his injuries are not life threatening and not-life changing Following the incidents in Hackney, officers were made aware of a similar attack reported in Islington earlier in the night. A man was reported to have had a corrosive substance thrown in his face by two males on a moped in Upper Street junction with Highbury Corner. He was taken to a north London hospital. Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick condemned acid attacks as "completely barbaric". "We are concerned, because the numbers appear to be going up," she said. Assaults involving acid and corrosive substances have more than doubled in England since 2012, with the number of acid attacks in the capital showing the most dramatic rise in the recent years. The Met Police's figures show there were 261 acid attacks in 2015, rising to 458 last year. So far this year, excluding the five latest incidents, the police have recorded 119 such attacks.