Met police arrest two men, aged 60 and 61, after Ulez camera explodes in south London

18 December 2023, 18:35

Parts of a Ulez camera exploded, causing damage on a Sidcup street
Parts of a Ulez camera exploded, causing damage on a Sidcup street. Picture: Alamy/X
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Two men have been arrested after the explosion of an ultra low emission zone (Ulez) camera in southeast London.

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

Two men, aged 60 and 61, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or property.

No one was injured during the explosion but several cars and a property were damaged.

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."

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

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

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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