London climate activists boasted of their “biggest night of action” yet after deflating tyres on 120 SUVs.
Tyre Extinguishers claimed to have disarmed vehicles across the capital on Thursday night to highlight the unnecessary “luxury emissions” they create.
They claimed to have deflated 40 SUVs in Hampstead, 35 in Kensington and Paddington and 45 in Primrose Hill.
A spokesperson for Tyre Extinguishers said: “This action was taken because removing SUVs from urban areas is a necessary part of reducing unnecessary fossil fuel demand, supporting the energy transition, and securing a habitable world.
“Three quarters of these ‘off-road’ vehicles are purchased by people living in towns or cities. We cannot allow SUVs to continue the incineration of our planet. Owning an SUV is dangerous. It can no longer be accepted.”
The group has already sparked controversy in Brighton, where a local councillor called for them to be banned from social media.
Labour councillor Gary Wilkinson told The Argus: “They are using websites to encourage people to commit what I believe to be criminal acts and have said they ‘don’t expect anyone to be apprehended’ and it is ‘better to break the law’.
“Such is my concern that these may be encouraging others to commit offences, I have contacted both Facebook and Twitter to ask them to close the accounts of the group due to some of the content on the sites.”
On their website, the group says those wishing to participate only need a “leaflet and a lentil”.
Last week, SUVs in the Swiss city of Zurich and The Hague in the Netherlands were targeted by environmental activists affiliated with the group.
Analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2019 found that SUVs were the second-largest contributor to the increase in emissions between 2010 and 2019. They make up around 40 per cent of car sales worldwide, according to the IEA.
The Met Police urged Londoners to notify them of “any reports of intentional damage” through their website.
“We will assess these to establish whether offences have been committed,” they said.