England: Courts introduce ‘sip test’ following acid attacks

Courts across England and Wales are asking visitors to sip from any bottles they have in order to prove they do not contain acid, following a spate of attacks over the past few months, The Times reports.

The test is intended to prevent attacks against lawyers, judges, defendants, witnesses, jurors and others.

The rule applies to everyone, including court staff, lawyers, and journalists.

At Cardiff Crown Court the test led to long queues as security staff checked bottles.

A security guard at the court said: “It would be very easy to conceal acid in a plastic bottle so when people come through and into the court we have to ask them to take a sip of their drink to prove that it isn’t. The Ministry of Justice have issued us with the order.”

A spokesman for HM Courts & Tribunals Service said the measure would be brought in this week across the crown estate.

He said: “We take the safety and security of court users and staff extremely seriously, which is why we’re bringing in enhanced safety measures across the court estate.

“We keep our security procedures under constant review, and will always take action where appropriate.”