THE number of acid attacks in Essex is on the rise.

An investigation has found Essex Police dealt with 28 incidents of violence involving acid, ammonia, bleach or a chemical between April 2014 and November 2015.

This compares to 12 between April 2013 and March 2014.

Wayne Ingold, 57, who was a victim of an acid attack in 2014, said he believed criminals were using corrosive substances as a "cheaper alternative" to guns and knives.

The dad-of-two had sulphuric acid thrown at his face at his block of flats in Witham, in a case of mistaken identity.

He said: "There has to be a stronger deterrent because these crimes are on the rise. It's got ridiculous now. One day someone will get killed.

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

"We had gun crime and knife crime - acid seems to be a cheaper alternative. How would these people feel if a member of their family was the victim?"

The information comes from an investigation by the Press Association, which revealed there were 503 offences between 2012 and November last year.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: