ULEZ camera vandalism shows drivers are sick of Sadiq Khan’s scheme – rival

The conviction and sentencing of a man for destroying a ULEZ enforcement camera in south-east London is indicative of growing resentment at both the capital-wide emissions scheme and Mayor Sadiq Khan himself, Reform UK candidate Howard Cox has claimed.

Stephen Nunn, 60, of Corkscrew Hill, West Wickham, was sentenced at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on December 13 to a 12-month community order, which includes 100 hours of unpaid work. He was also made to pay compensation of £349. He had previously pleaded guilty to criminal damage at the same court on November 17.

The scheme requires drivers of vehicles failing to comply with minimum emissions standards to pay £12.50 to drive within the ULEZ zone, which was expanded to include all 32 London boroughs on August 29. It has triggered multiple demonstrations, including outside Downing Street, and Mr Nunn’s conviction is just the latest in of multiple attacks on cameras this year.

The Met recorded 987 crimes between April 1 on October 31, comprising 220 reports of cameras being stolen and 767 cameras being damaged. Last week counter-terrorism officers were initially called in after a camera was destroyed by what is believed to have been a bomb.

For Mr Cox, the latest court case provides a clear illustration of the resentment which has been smouldering since ULEZ was expanded to include at 32 London boroughs on August 29. He told Express.co.uk: “Decent law-abiding people, drivers, voters have had enough of Sadiq Khan’s purely cash-grabbing ULEZ.

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”I don’t condone criminal actions whatsoever but I share all the anti-ULEZ protesters‘ frustrations and anger towards London’s Mayor, who continues to use misinformation to fleece low-income families and small businesses.

“I see the vandalism of these cameras continuing until all of the capital’s ULEZ is scrapped. It will be when I’m elected Mayor.“

The court was told how, at about 10.20pm on October 27, Mr Nunn had been spotted by police in Hayes Road in Bromley, dressed in black and carrying a large metal pole with a can of spray paint attached to the top. Officers then saw him point the pole at a ULEZ camera before spraying it with white paint. He was stopped nearby and arrested.

Police later searched his home, where they found several anti-ULEZ posters. A Met Police spokesman said: “The Met continues to treat criminal activity in relation to ULEZ seriously and has deployed considerable resources to our operation. Where there are possible lines of enquiry, local investigators will follow up using a range of investigative approaches including CCTV trawls, witness searches and an assessment of forensic opportunities.”

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Anti-Ulez demonstrators protest outside Downing Street

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A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: “People are of course entitled to show their opposition to policies peacefully and lawfully. But causing criminal damage is never acceptable. All incidents of ULEZ camera vandalism are reported to the police for investigation and any cameras damaged or destroyed are swiftly replaced.

“The Met and TfL are using new methods to successfully catch those responsible, as this prosecution shows. Criminal damage will not stop the ULEZ operating though it could endanger the safety of the vandal and passers-by.

“Expanding ULEZ was a difficult decision, but a necessary one to tackle air pollution and the climate crisis. With the help of the Mayor’s £160m scrappage scheme – open to every Londoner with a non-compliant car – 95 per cent of all vehicles seen driving in London on an average day now meet the ULEZ standards and do not need to pay the daily charge.”

Separately, new research has pinpointed the areas in the south-east where drivers are getting rid of their old cars in response to the expansion of the scheme.

Able Systems, which specialises in portable printers for test and measurement applications, used Auto Trader to identify which areas within a 50-mile radius of the zone have the most and least compliant vehicles for sale.

From a London perspective, Barnet was found to be the area selling the most older cars with 49 percent of cars being sold non-compliant with ULEZ restrictions. Kingston upon Thames followed up in second with 41 percent of cars being sold are non-compliant with Euro emissions standards. At the other end of the scale, just 36 percent of cars listed for sale in Richmond Upon Thames were non-compliant.

Further away from the capital, 53 percent of cars listed for sale in Reading, and 52 percent in Crawley, were non-compliant with emissions standards.

Neil Henry, Head of Strategy at Able Systems, commented: “ULEZ charges are clearly a big concern to thousands of motorists in and around London, and for many compounded by added congestion zone charges. Vehicle Emissions testing can be very helpful for motorists and fleet managers to ensure they don’t face significantly increased motoring costs.”

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