Four additional attacks, all involving two teenage boys on a scooter, or moped, took place in rapid succession in neighborhoods nearby, with the assailants spraying acid in the faces of other scooter riders in an apparent attempt to steal their vehicles, police said.
The attacks were linked and police are questioning the teenager at an east London police station on suspicion of robbery and causing grievous bodily harm.
Following this incident, at 11.05pm, a "corrosive substance" was reported to have been thrown in the face of another man by two males on a moped in Shoreditch High Street.
Five men, who were all on mopeds when they were attacked, have been taken to hospital with injuries.
At 11:37 p.m. local time, a 33-year-old man reported to police that he he was on his moped in traffic on Chatsworth Road when two males on another moped pulled alongside him and sprayed a corrosive liquid in his face. The victim was taken to hospital and his injuries are also not believed life threatening or life changing.
CNN reports that the number of incidents went from 166 in 2014 to 261 in 2015 to 454 in 2016, and authorities say the trend is continuing this year.More news: US report reveals India developed missiles to strike any corner of China
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They pour water into his eyes and ask him where the incident happened.
The attack in Hackney involved a delivery person. "It really is not", Commissioner Cressida Dick said.
The Home Office said it would work with police and the Ministry of Justice to assess whether powers available to the courts, including sentencing, were sufficient.
The attacks are just the latest in a spate of similar attacks in the British capital in recent years, with the corrosive liquid used in robberies and gang-related violence.
Last month, cousins Resham Khan and Jameel Mukhtar were injured when a man threw acid through their auto window in Beckton, east London, on the night of Khan's 21st birthday.