South Essex College bosses have banned all staff and students from bringing in sport cap a bid to stop acid attacks.

The college has now imposed the new rule at all three of its campuses in Basildon, Southend and Thurrock.

If a student or staff is spotted with a banned bottle, they will be asked to throw it in the bin immediately.

In a statement, the college said: “There has been a rise in acid attacks across the UK recently and as a preventative measure, and to ensure the safety of all our students, staff and visitors, the college has removed all sport cap bottles from our sites.

“As stated in our recent Ofsted report where the college was awarded a good grade, ‘Learners feel safe, and are kept safe, in college’ and we will continue to make sure this absolutely remains the case.”

A spokesman told the Echo the decision was not prompted by any incidents at the college.

He said: “There’s no hidden element behind our new policy.

“As the weekend’s events in Stratford show, these attacks are unfortunately becoming all too common. We’ve put this in place as a purely preventative measure, we will continue to make sure the safety of our students, staff and visitors remains our top priority.

“We have more than 10,000 students, and up to 1,000 staff members, across all three of our campuses.”

However, some college students have different reactions to the new rule.

Molly McTigue, 17, from Little Wakering, who is studying Media Make Up at the college, said: “I got told off for bringing a Lucozade bottle into class on Wednesday. I didn’t know why.

“I suppose it’s good because they’re trying to prevent acid attacks, but I don’t think it will make any difference because they will find other ways of doing it.”

Previously, the Echo reported on how two men who threw acid over a teenager in a shop in North Road, Westcliff, in June 2016.

Thugs Leban Elmi, 24, of Kirkwood Road, Nunhead, in south east London, and Archie Harding, 20, of Kursaal Way, Southend were later charged and jailed for a total of 17 years.