Anti-Ulez vandals target Sadiq Khan's fleet of camera vans

Anti-Ulez vandals target Sadiq Khan’s fleet of camera vans: ‘Blade runners’ cover vehicles with graffiti and deflate tyres after 4,000 joined Facebook group encouraging people to report sightings

  • Mobile camera vehicles have been deployed amid vandalism of fixed units
  • TfL to start issuing £180 fines to rule-breakers after initially giving warnings

Opponents of London’s ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) expansion have started targeting a fleet of mobile camera vans attempting to catch rule-breakers.

Images posted on social media show some of the vans have been daubed with graffiti, had their cameras covered by bags and their tyres deflated.

One mobile unit was photographed being rescued by a recovery truck.

Meanwhile, more than 4,000 people have joined a Facebook group encouraging people to report sightings of the vans.

The vehicles are being dispatched as many fixed Ulez cameras have been put out of use by opponents of the scheme, known as Blade Runners.

Anti-Ulez campaigners have turned their fire on mobile camera vans trying to enforce the rules, by letting down the tyres and 

One social media post showed a van being towed away on a recovery truck

Another van was pictured with graffiti daubed all over its windscreen on Maiden Lane, Crayford

Anti-Ulez campaigners sprayed graffiti on the rear doors and deflated its tyres, before the  van was later wrapped in a blue bag

The vehicle was shared on a post with the message: ‘Can we all send our thoughts and prayers to this poor ULEZ spy van that’s looking rather… deflated

The camera vans have been deployed as hundreds of static cameras have been reported damaged or missing

Another graffiti hit vehicle in Foots Cray, Sidcup. The cameras use ANPR technology to identify incompliant vehicles and have been spotted at various traffic hotspots

One vehicle on Maiden Lane in Crayford was shown in a video sprayed with graffiti and its tyres flat. 

The same van was also pictured wrapped in a huge blue bag covering it down to the wheels. 

It was posted with the message: ‘Can we all send our thoughts and prayers to this poor ULEZ spy van that’s looking rather… deflated.’

Ulez cameras use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology to identify vehicles.

READ MORE: Sadiq Khan tightens the squeeze on drivers: Mayor deploys fleet of Ulez camera vans to catch drivers after vigilantes launched more than 500 attacks on CCTV units monitoring the expanded £12.50-a-day zone

Although the mobile cameras can only detect incompliant vehicles while stationary, they can move between boroughs to be deployed at hotspots including near Heathrow airport. 

People who drive in the zone with a non-compliant vehicle and fail to pay the £12.50 daily fee are initially being sent warning letters.

In the coming weeks TfL is expected to start issuing rule-breakers with £180 fines, which will reduce to £90 if paid within 14 days.

A TfL spokesman said: ‘Vandalism is unacceptable and all incidents on our network are reported to the police for investigation.

‘Criminal damage to Ulez cameras or vehicles puts the perpetrators at risk of prosecution and injury, while simultaneously risking the safety of the public.

‘Camera vandalism will not stop the Ulez operating London-wide.

‘All vandalised cameras are repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

‘We have an extensive camera network which is sufficient to support the effective operation of the scheme.

‘Anyone driving a non-compliant vehicle within the expanded zone will be detected and we advise everyone to check whether their vehicle is compliant and to consider the various support that is available to help transition to greener modes of transport.’

The Ulez zone expanded to include all of Greater London at the end of last month

Hundreds of Ulez cameras across the capital have been damaged by vigilantes, who have cut wires on the equipment and sprayed the lenses with paint

Anti-Ulez campaigners, known as the Blade Runners, claim to have disconnected or destroyed at least 500 of the 2,700 static cameras

The camera vans are identifiable with a camera symbol on the rear doors, along with the TfL roundel logo on the side. 

There were 510 crimes relating to Ulez cameras reported between the start of April and the end of August, figures released by the Metropolitan Police show.

Two arrests have been made, with one person charged and bailed and the other case discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who made the decision to expand Ulez to the whole of London from August 29, previously warned people attacking cameras that ‘protest should be lawful, safe and peaceful’, adding: ‘It is really important to stay on the right side of the law.’

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