• Sunday, March 03, 2024

UK News

Sadiq Khan condemns attack on Ulez camera, calls it ‘grotesquely irresponsible’

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 27: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan arrives ahead of his appearance at the Covid Inquiry on November 27, 2023 in London, England. The UK’s Mayors of London, Manchester, and Liverpool will be questioned at phase 2 of the Covid-19 Inquiry over decision-making in Downing Street during the pandemic. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

The London mayor’s office strongly condemned a “grotesquely irresponsible” attack on a camera responsible for enforcing the city’s ultra-low emission zone (Ulez).

The incident involved damaging the camera with what seemed to be a homemade bomb, posing a risk to lives, The Guardian reported.

No immediate response regarding the incident came from Downing Street or the Home Office. Also, No. 10 stated its inability to comment due to an ongoing police inquiry but condemned “criminality more generally.”

While the explosion in Sidcup, located in south-east London on Wednesday (6) evening, is not currently categorised as terrorism by the Metropolitan police, the investigation is being overseen by counter-terror officers.

Residents nearby shared photos on social media depicting a significant dent in a van, apparently caused by debris from the blast, as well as damage to the window frame of a nearby house. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

A spokesperson for Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, said: “This grotesquely irresponsible behaviour puts both lives and property at risk. Police are rightly investigating this dangerous and reckless act.”

A representative for Rishi Sunak acknowledged being aware of the incident but refrained from commenting, citing an ongoing investigation.

Since the expansion of the Ulez zone to cover all London boroughs in August, there have been multiple instances of vandalism targeting Ulez cameras.

The move has faced opposition from Sunak’s government, Conservatives in City Hall, and numerous Tory MPs.

According to figures released by the Met in November, nearly 1,000 recorded crimes have been linked to stolen or vandalised cameras over the past seven months.

Susan Hall, the Conservative candidate for the upcoming mayoral election, strongly denounced the allegations, expressing full condemnation for any form of vandalism.

She said that the most effective way to protest against Sadiq Khan’s contentious Ulez expansion is through the ballot box in the upcoming May elections.

According to a Met police statement a “low-sophistication improvised explosive device” damaged a camera in Willersley Avenue, Sidcup, at about 6.45pm on Wednesday.

The camera, installed earlier on the same day, was initially cut down and then apparently blown up.

Expressing deep concern DCS Trevor said it is extremely worrying that an explosive device seems to have been intentionally placed in a public area. “This could have very easily resulted in members of the public being very seriously injured.”

The Ulez scheme aims to enhance air quality by imposing a £12.50 daily fee for vehicles entering the zone that fail to meet emissions standards. The enforcement relies on a network of number-plate recognition cameras.

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