Shocking moment Ulez camera explodes after being targeted by anti-Ulez activists

7 December 2023, 14:31 | Updated: 7 December 2023, 14:33

This is the moment a Ulez camera explodes.
This is the moment a Ulez camera explodes. Picture: Facebook/X/Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

This is the shocking moment a Ulez camera explodes after being targeted by anti-Ulez activists.

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Footage shows the moment a Ulez camera on a residential street in Sidcup suddenly explodes, blowing out a nearby house’s windows and damaging a van.

The video shows vehicles travelling down the residential street when suddenly a bright flash breaks out from the camera's electric box, with sparks seemingly jumping out amid the explosion, according to reports.

Posted to Facebook, the video caption reads: “Ulez camera explosion in Sidcup down a residential street. Someone’s house windows blown out and a van damaged. Explosion could be heard as far as Danson park and welling”.

The explosion happened overnight as police and firefighters rushed to the scene in Willersley Avenue, Sidcup.

One nearby resident said the explosion could be "heard all round the area" after saying the explosion left them "gobsmacked".

Footage of the aftermath showed debris strewn across the road, a huge dent in the side of a van and a chunk had been taken out of a brick wall.

Stunned neighbours lined the street to take in what happened.

Metropolitan Police are investigating reports of the blast amid claims it blew up “like a World War Two explosion”.

Ulez camera explosion in sidcup down a residential street. Someone's house windows blown out and a van damaged. Explosion could be heard as far as Danson park and welling.

Posted by Julie Graham on Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Some believed the camera had been taken down before the blast happened, as they are targeted by anti-Ulez vandals, but that was not clear.

"Ulez camera's been dismantled, blown the geezer's van in half, shrapnel everywhere," said a man recording the clip.

"Broke the geezer's fence. It's like a WW2 explosion's just gone off.

Read more: Ulez camera vandal admits criminal damage with spray paint in first successful prosecution

"Well done, Sadiq."

One Reddit user said: "It was bad the explosion was so loud I though someone set of a display firework on the ground!! It blew up hit a van and smashed someone's wall!"

Another wrote: "The noise was horrendous. We thought it was a bomb. The stupid f***s that did this need prosecuting to the absolute full extent of the law.

"They're VERY lucky they didn't actually kill someone. Is that what they want? What scumbags."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Police were called to Willersley Avenue, Sidcup at about 6.47pm on Wednesday, December 6 following reports that a ULEZ camera had exploded. Officers attended alongside colleagues in LFB [London Fire Brigade].

"No one was injured. No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing."

Ulez cameras are being targeted by vandals
Ulez cameras are being targeted by vandals. Picture: Alamy

Ulez cameras continue to be targeted by opponents to the scheme, which charges drivers £12.50 a day if their car does not meet emissions standards.

London's mayor Sadiq Khan has described Ulez as essential for reducing air pollution in the city.

But it has become controversial as the Conservatives try to turn some green initiatives into electoral issues after their success in the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election, which was effectively turned into a referendum on Ulez.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also distanced himself from eco measures that burden poorer people.

In November, the Met said almost 1,000 crimes linked to vandalism or theft of the cameras, which record number plates to ensure cars meet requirements, had been reported.

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