Police and Tower Hamlets Council are trying to reassure residents after the recent spate of acid attacks in east London.

Several borough residents have taken to social media to express their concerns about the repeated use of noxious substances to injure members of the public.

Twitter user Muslim Girl asked the council: “How are you reassuring us? We can’t even walk around safely in our own streets. What have you implemented?”

Another Tweeter wrote: “Hate crime spike in Tower Hamlets is being ignored by the leaders. Stop acid attacks now. Make Tower Hamlets acid free.”

Jamie Black wrote: “Such a sad state of affairs when people are spreading on social media self administration of treatment when it comes to acid attacks.”

The outcry came comes after officers confirmed an attack that left 21-year-old Resham Khan and her cousin Jameel Muhktar, 37 was being treated as a hate crime.

Resham was preparing to start a new job and begin modelling before the attack
Resham suffered serious burns in the attack

The victims were left with life-changing injuries after acid was sprayed through the windows of the their car.

Police are still searching for Canning Town man John Tomlin for questioning in connection with the incident and have made no arrests since the attack on Wednesday, June 21, in Beckton.

Police want to speak to John Tomlin

Tensions increased further when a noxious substance was thrown over a man in a car in Commercial Road, near to Watney Street in Tower Hamlets on Thursday, June 29.

The suspects stole his car after the attack, which was later found in Hackney.

The victim was squirted in the face with a substance that caused a burning sensation in his skin but did not need further treatment.

Police have said the liquid may be some kind of bleach, as it discoloured his shirt, but say the incident is being treated as a robbery rather than a hate crime.

Officers have sought to reassure residents, and insist none of the incidents being investigated in Tower Hamlets have been classified as a hate crime.

Borough Commander detective chief superintendent Sue Williams, said: “I am aware of understandable public concern regarding a number of incidents referred to as acid attacks in recent weeks and months in east London, including Tower Hamlets borough.

“I understand a significant part of this concern was whether the local crimes are motivated by race or hate or linked to the horrific recent attack in Beckton, Newham.

Resham needed a skin graft after suffering damage to her left eye and burns across her arms, legs, face and shoulder
Resham's injuries have been described as life-changing by police

“I have received a briefing from investigators who assure me the Beckon incident is not linked to the robbery in Commercial Road last Thursday evening.

“During this robbery, a noxious fluid, believed to be bleach was used to incapacitate the victim causing irritation to the victim’s face in the short term.

“Officers responded within a few minutes of receiving the call and immediately provided first aid including diluting the substance with water. This ensured that there was no lasting injury.

“There is no evidence to suggest at this time that this is a race or hate crime. Similarly, we are aware of other incidents of this type which have been investigated, none of which bear the hall marks of a hate crime.”

The council has also tried to reassure residents and mayor John Biggs held a community meeting to discuss concerns on Sunday, July 2.

In a statement after the Commercial Road attack, the mayor said: “We know some of our residents are very concerned about this attack.

“The police have confirmed the incident was not like the terrible attack involving acid that recently took place in Newham.

“We will continue to work closely with the police to do everything we can to keep our residents safe. The police are continuing investigations into this robbery.”

A vigil to show solidarity with the victims of the Beckton attack has been organised by Stand Up To Racism and will take place outside Stratford station between 6pm and 7.30pm on Wednesday, July 5.

Anyone with any information about these attacks or any others is asked to contact their local Safer Neighbourhood Team, call the police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously.

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