Shadowy 'blade runner' vandals trash cameras in anti-ULEZ backlash in London

  • Tap above to watch video report by Simon Harris

Council chiefs have slammed vandals who attacked cameras used to police London’s controversial Ultra Low Emission Zone.

At least eight cameras in Chiswick in the west London borough of Hounslow are thought to have been targeted by anti-ULEZ vigilantes.

Transport for London is installing 2,750 new cameras ahead of the planned extension to the current ULEZ on August 29th.

London mayor Sadiq Khan was given the green light to press ahead with the scheme after the High Court last week rejected a legal challenge by five Conservative councils.

The extended ULEZ will cover all roads in Greater London. Drivers of vans and cars which fail to meet modern emissions standards face a daily £12.50 toll.

The damage to cameras in Chiswick was criticised by Hounslow council deputy leader Katherine Dunne.

Cut cable on a camera in Chiswick Credit: ITV News

She said: “We strongly condemn any form of vandalism and this type of irresponsible behaviour has no place within our community.”

A shadowy group calling itself the blade runners has previously claimed responsibility for a spate of attacks on the automatic number plate reader (ANPR) devices.

Scotland Yard has launched ‘Operation Eremon’ to investigate the vandalism. A spokesperson said the Met was aware of a social media video claiming to show damaged and stolen ULEZ cameras.

Detective Superintendent Daniel Smith said: “We are continuing to proactively target anyone we suspect of causing or seeking to cause damage to these cameras.

“We are now reviewing this social media post and will follow up every line of investigation.”

TfL is spending up to £140m to buy cameras, install road signs and publicise the ULEZ extension. Giant electronic posters advising drivers of the impending launch have appeared on main roads.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...