Around 300 Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) cameras have been damaged since April, the Met Police has revealed, as an image of a suspect wanted in connection with four west London offences is released.
Photos and videos of damage caused to ULEZ cameras have been widely-circulated online ahead of the expansion of the clean-air zone to outer London, penned in for August 29.
From that date, any drivers of non-compliant vehicles will be liable to pay a £12.50 daily charge, resulting in fury from some quarters of the capital.
An operation was launched in April after Transport for London (TfL) passed on reports of criminal damage and theft to the police. The Met has now said that, as of August 1, 288 crimes had been recorded, including approximately 185 reports of cables being damaged, 164 cameras stolen and 38 reports of cameras being obscured.
It said it continues to investigate “numerous” reports of additional vandalism, meaning the current figure is likely higher.
As part of the force’s ongoing investigation, the police has released an image of a man officers are looking to trace in connection with four offences in Harrow and Hillingdon, including Uxbridge, on June 17.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police by calling 101 or via Twitter @MetCC, quoting CAD3968/14AUG.
To provide details anonymously, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or via the charity’s website.
Commander Owain Richards described the acts as “unacceptable”, and said a team of officers is investigating and identifying those responsible.
“We are providing a proportionate policing response, balancing these incidents against the wide range of operational demand and crime we must respond to across London,” he said.
“We are working closely with Transport for London and alongside our investigation into offences already committed we are supporting them identify new ways to prevent further cameras from being damaged or stolen.
“We are continually reviewing where we need to focus our efforts and we will continue to do that over the coming weeks to ensure we are providing the service Londoners expect from us.”