A man has suffered facial injuries after an acid attack in Whitstable town centre. The victim was taken to hospital after being struck by a noxious liquid thrown from a bottle.
According to the Canterbury Times, the incident took place in an alleyway between Fountain Street and Harbour Street at about 1pm on 20 February. The victim is described as a man in his fifties.
Amanda Wills, spokesperson for Kent Police, confirmed an arrested has been made in relation to the incident. Wills told IBTimes UK: "A 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of assault. He has been bailed until 21 March while our enquiries continue."
This is the second alleged acid attack to take place in Kent this month. On 12 February, police investigated an incident in which a noxious liquid was thrown at a pedestrian and a security guard at Maidstone shopping centre. In May 2015, Mia Taylor, 19, suffered a facial injury in a suspected acid attack in the town of Gillingham.
An acid attack can have a devastating effect on the body. A spokesperson for the Acid Survivors Trust International told Kent Online: "At least 30% of victims suffer some form of blindness, but also hearing impairment. Then on top of that, they can have severe trauma as a consequence of an attack. Many survivors find it very hard to adjust to a working environment because of their appearance and physical disabilities."
In January, figures from Kent Police revealed that attacks involving acid and other harmful liquids had increased in the county over the past four years. In 2014 there were 17 assaults of a similar nature, which represented an increase of 12 from the previous year and five in 2012. Men have been targeted more than women, with a total of 32 males attacked, compared to 13 females.