A cable cut on a ULEZ camera near Chiswick Roundabout. Picture: Facebook
September 1, 2023
The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that it has recorded over 500 offences relating to ULEZ cameras since 1 April this year.
These include 159 reports of cameras being stolen and 351 being damaged. Opponents of the scheme have been cutting the cables at the back of the cameras to render them inoperable.
The Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) devices are used to levy the daily charge and fines on non-compliant vehicles entering the zone which was extended on 29 August to all areas within the M25.
A group describing itself as ‘the Blade Runners’ has posted videos on social media describing their activities and showing acts of vandalism on cameras.
In May, an operation was launched by the Met to ensure what it described as a proportionate approach and response was in place. It says it has, and continues to, treat criminal activity in relation to ULEZ seriously and has deployed considerable resources to the operation adding that, where there are possible lines of enquiry, local investigators will follow up using a range of investigative approaches including CCTV trawls, witness searches and an assessment of forensic opportunities.
To date, Met investigations have led to the arrest of two individuals, one charged and bailed for trial to June 2024 and the other discontinued by the CPS.
The police continue to monitor Anti-ULEZ protests, as it does for all potential public order matters, to consider if bespoke policing plans are required. Some events have seen between 200 and 300 people attending.
Commander Owain Richards said: "These are clearly unacceptable acts of criminality and we have a team of officers investigating and identifying those responsible.
“We are providing a proportionate policing response, balancing these incidents against the wide range of operational demand and crime we must respond to across London.
“We are working closely with Transport for London and alongside our investigation into offences already committed we are supporting them identify new ways to prevent further cameras from being damaged or stolen.
“We are continually reviewing where we need to focus our efforts and we will continue to do that over the coming weeks to ensure we are providing the service Londoners expect from us.”
Photo of man sought by the Met in connection with ULEZ camera vandalism
A spokesperson for TfL said earlier, 'Vandalism on our network is unacceptable. All incidents are reported to the police for investigation.'
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