A teenage boy was sprayed with an unknown substance in west London sparking fears of yet another acid attack in the capital. The 17-year-old was sprayed with the liquid – which later turned out not to be acid – just after 10am on Tuesday (8 August) in Kensington Gardens.

The boy was seen being doused in water by members of the emergency services close to Kensington Palace, the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, over fears the substance was acid.

The victim is not thought to have been seriously injured, but was taken to a major trauma centre as a "priority". The incident follows a string of acid attacks which have occurred in London since June, including five people who were hit in the face with corrosive substances across north and east London in a time span of less than 90 minutes on just a single day.

The government has since announced punitive measures of life sentences for those who commit such attacks as part of plans to tackle the fast growing crime.

Police in London have also been given 1000 acid crime response kits to help them treat victims of such attacks.

A spokesperson from the London Ambulance Service said: "We were called at 10.13am this morning (8 August) to reports of an incident in Kensington Gardens.

"We sent two ambulances to the scene. We treated a patient who had been sprayed with a liquid – not acid – and took him to a major trauma centre as a priority."

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson added: "Police were called at 10:09hrs today, Tuesday 8 August to reports a person being sprayed with an unknown substance in The Broadway, Kensington Gardens, W8.

"LAS and London Fire Brigade attended the scene. A 17-year-old boy was taken to hospital as a precaution. Enquiries continue."