Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Nearly 1,000 crimes linked to London’s ULEZ cameras being vandalised or stolen have been recorded by police.

Over the last seven months, there have been 987 offences, according to the Metropolitan Police.

Of that figure, 220 were reports of cameras being stolen and 767 related to devices being damaged.

Three people have been charged so far for targeting the ultra-low emission zone devices, with two being arrested and bailed. One other person has had their case dropped.

The police said in a statement: “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.”

The ULEZ zone was expanded on 29 August, covering all boroughs in Greater London.

Motorists have to pay a £12.50 daily fee to drive in the zone if their car does not meet emissions standards.

Cameras are used to track vehicles and check if they need to pay.

For petrol cars to meet emission standards, they must generally have been first registered after 2005 and most diesel cars registered after September 2015 are also exempt.

Transport for London said on Tuesday that 95% of vehicles within London are now compliant with the emission zone requirements. Their figures suggest they receive approximately £730,000 a day in ULEZ fees.

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The expansion of the scheme has encountered some opposition. An anti-ULEZ Facebook group with more than 40,000 members has urged people to refuse to pay the daily fee for non-compliant vehicles, as well as celebrating the vandalism of enforcement cameras.

The fine for failing to pay the charge is £180, reduced to £90 if paid within 14 days and increasing to £270 after 28 days.

A scheme providing up to £2,000 for Londoners to scrap a non-compliant vehicle is still open.

Sky News previously revealed fraudsters were selling counterfeit certification for ULEZ zones, with adverts posted on Facebook Marketplace, TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp claiming to be able to make vehicles “ULEZ exempt”.

Defending the policy back in August, Sadiq Khan said the expanding ULEZ was a “difficult” but “vital” decision.

The London mayor told Sky News that air pollution causes health issues in children and adults, and also causes 4,000 premature deaths in London per year.

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