A man objecting to the Ultra Low Emission Zone recently extended to Greater London has been photographed up a ladder holding an anti-Ulez sign in an effort to block a camera.
The picture appeared on a Facebook group for people in east London called Our Hornchurch, and was captioned: “Let’s hear it for the lad sitting on the ladders blocking the Ulez camera on Rainham Road. This made my morning power to the people.”
The man in the photo is on top of a ladder holding a sign that blocks out an enforcement van’s camera.
By doing this, passing vehicles could avoid facing a Ulez charge for travelling within the designated zone.
The incident comes after a sharp rise in vandalism and sabotage of Ulez cameras in recent weeks by so-called “blade runners”, including cameras being covered in paint.
On the day the Ulez came into force, former Tory leader Iain Duncan-Smith refused to condemn the clandestine activists, and said he supported those who vandalised cameras.
He said he was “happy” for people in his constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green to destroy cameras because they had been “lied to”.
He said: “A lot of people in my constituency have been cementing up the cameras or putting plastic bags over them.
“I am happy for them to do it because they are facing an imposition that no-one wants and they have been lied to about it. The actions you are seeing show how angry people are at what is being imposed on them.”
The Met Police has stated that tampering with ULEZ cameras is “vandalism of government property and is a criminal offence”. It reported that up to 300 have so far been targeted by vandals.
A spokesperson for TFL previously said: “Vandalism on our network is unacceptable and all incidents are reported to the police for investigation. We have increased the security of the ULEZ cameras following further incidences of vandalism and theft. The Met has been clear that this is vandalism of government property and is a criminal offence which could lead to prosecution.”
How many Ulez cameras are they, and where are they located?
There are currently 1,775 Ulez cameras within the zone, and TfL will continue to erect more cameras until it reaches its target of 2,750.
While the cameras aren’t able to cover all entrances and exits in the zone, TfL hasn’t disclosed which ones these are.
This website offers a camera map that displays where the known Ulez cameras are at the moment.
The cameras are constantly on, meaning they operate all day, every day. The only exception is Christmas Day when there is no charge.
How popular is the Ulez scheme?
A YouGov poll of 1,000 Londoners in August found that 47% were in support of ULEZ expansion, with 42% against the move.
However, opinions changed dramatically when polling people in outer London, where 51% opposed expansion and 38% supported it. In inner London, 62% were supportive, while 26% were critical.
Despite support in some corners, exactly half of the respondents believed that London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, could be doing more to support people switching to compliant vehicles, against 25% who believed he was doing all he could.
The survey also revealed that one in three Londoners support vandalism of the cameras.
It found that around 32% of people supported attacks on the cameras by Ulez protesters, while 51% were against. The remaining 17% didn’t have a view.
Watch: Police minister Chris Philp slams anti-Ulez campaigners targeting enforcement vans