Moment ULEZ camera EXPLODES in the street ‘while being cut down by vigilantes’ – as police launch probe

Police have launched an investigation after a ULEZ camera exploded causing damage to surround vehicles and homes, allegedly after being cut down by ‘blade runner’ activists.

CCTV shows the moment the camera goes up in flames, causing sparks and debris to rain down and damage nearby vehicles and houses. 

Officers were called to a residential street in Sidcup, south east London on Wednesday evening following reports that a ULEZ camera had blown up.

Police attended the scene at 6.47pm, along with firefighters. Nobody was injured in the explosion.

According to locals, the camera was ‘cut down’ within a few hours of being installed, and later exploded. The cause of the explosion remains unclear. 

No arrests have been made but enquiries are ongoing and the Met has asked anyone with relevant information which could assist the investigation to get in touch.

Wreckage of the ULEZ camera was photographed at the scene shortly after the explosion

One resident said their three-year-old child’s room was strewn with debris following the explosion, which smashed several windows

A section of the road has been cordoned off by police today as the investigation continues.

Each end of the cordon is being guarded by uniformed officers, who are giving members of the public alternative routes and escorting residents in and out.

Two yellow police tents have been pitched with crime scene investigators in blue boiler suits on the scene.

A 32-year-old construction worker, who asked not to be named, said the electrical power box attached to the camera ended up at the rear of his black van.

A hole was punctured in the side of his Citroen van by the explosion, which was newly purchased as his other work vehicle was non-ULEZ compliant.

A wooden fence was also damaged by flying shrapnel as well as passing car that suffered damage to one of his front panels.

The resident said: ‘When I got home from work I noticed the camera had been chopped down. It had only been up a few hours before it was vandalised.

‘I was in the house when I heard a huge bang. I went outside and saw the hole in the side of my van.

‘I can’t believe that this has happened. I only bought the van a few months ago as my other one doesn’t comply with ULEZ.

‘I don’t know who is going to pay for the repairs or what my insurance company will say.’

He added:’ I am totally opposed to the ULEZ expansion. If I did not change my van, it would cost me £400 a month just to get to work.

‘But someone could have been killed by the explosion. I don’t if it was a homemade device going off or something electrical.’

Residents near Willersley Avenue reported hearing a ‘loud bang’ shortly before 7pm last night.

In a post on Facebook locals claimed the explosion had damaged two vehicles and shattered the windows of a nearby property.

He Lia wrote: ‘My neighbour’s windows shattered as it’s right outside, as did my three-year-old’s room [windows] with debris and shrapnel everywhere.’

Another social media user said their child, also three, was ‘traumatised’ by the incident. 

The local resident claimed the camera was installed around midday and blew up just six-and-a-half hours later, adding: ‘I’ve been told there is considerable impact and force for the level of shattering across his room and the shrapnel stuck in the structures.

‘Things have gone through our neighbours’ cars. Is this humanity?

No arrests have been made but enquiries are ongoing, police said

According to locals, the camera was ‘cut down’ within six hours of being installed, and then exploded around 90 minutes later

Local residents reported debris littered their homes after the explosion – but no injuries were reported

‘Whether the camera itself is dangerous or the people who don’t like it. My poor child and neighbours are the victims!’

READ MORE: Speed camera vigilante strikes again! Fourth one chopped down in the space of a month amid fears vandals are copying ULEZ ‘blade runners’ 

One anonymous commenter claimed the camera blew up when someone cut it down – causing the electrical box to explode. This has not been confirmed.

They said the debris hit a passing car, a stationary van and a wall, and narrowly missed a bus.

Another local, Anna Newman, compared the noise to that of a Second World War bomb exploding, writing: ‘Heard it in Welling. What the hell did they blow it up with? Sounded like a Second World War bomb being disposed of!’

The latest figures show that almost 1,000 crimes relating to ULEZ cameras have been recorded by the Met Police.

This includes 220 reports of cameras being stole and 767 cameras being damaged.

More than 2,800 cameras have been installed as part of the ULEZ expansion scheme that came into force earlier this year.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: ‘Police were called to Willersley Avenue, Sidcup at about 18:47hrs on Wednesday, 6 December following reports that a ULEZ camera had exploded.

‘Officers attended alongside colleagues in London Fire Brigade.

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

‘Anyone with information that could assist with the investigation is encouraged to call 101 quoting CAD 5819/06DEC.

‘Similarly anyone who sees anyone or anything suspicious by or on a ULEZ camera should not approach and should contact police.’

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