Two men arrested by counter-terror police over ULEZ camera explosion in south London

It's believed the ULEZ camera was brought down around 90 minutes before the explosion. Credit: ITV London

Two men have been arrested by counter-terror police over the explosion of an ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) camera.

The Metropolitan Police said a “low-sophistication improvised explosive device (IED)” damaged the camera in Willersley Avenue, Sidcup, south-east London at about 6.45pm on December 6.

No one was injured during the explosion but vehicles and a residential property were damaged, police said.

The camera, which was installed earlier in the day, was cut down about one and a half hours before it blew up.

Police arrested a 60-year-old man from the area on Monday on on suspicion of conspiracy to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or property, contrary to section two of the Explosive Substances Act 1883.

A 61-year-old man was arrested in Horsham, West Sussex, on suspicion of conspiracy to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or property, and criminal damage, contrary to section one of the Criminal Damage Act 1971.

Both remained in custody at a south London police station and searches are underway at two addresses in Sidcup and Horsham, Scotland Yard said.

Detective Chief Superintendent Trevor Lawry, Commander for the Bexley area, said: “The explosion could easily have had far more harmful consequences and today’s arrests highlight just how seriously the Met is treating the incident.

“My local officers are continuing to work with and support the Counter Terrorism Command who are leading the investigation due to their specialism in dealing with incidents involving the use of explosives.”

Police are keen for any footage of the incident, and are asking anyone who drove or cycled on Willersley Avenue between 4.30pm and 7.30pm on 6 December to share any footage with them.

Following the incident, a spokesman for the mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “This grotesquely irresponsible behaviour puts both lives and property at risk.”

Mr Khan’s decision to expand the ULEZ area to cover the whole of London from August 29 has sparked a surge in vandalism of the scheme’s cameras, which use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology to identify vehicles.

People who drive in the ULEZ area in a vehicle that does not meet minimum emissions standards are liable for a £12.50 daily fee.

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