Met say ULEZ camera explosion was ‘deliberate act’

The Met have launched a criminal investigation after a ULEZ camera exploded on Wednesday night.

Police are describing the incident as a “deliberate act”, which was caused by a low-sophistication improvised explosive device (IED).

Police are not treating the explosion as an act of terrorism, but officers from the Counter Terrorism Command – which includes officers with specialist expertise in explosives – are leading the investigation.

Police, the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and firefighters from Eltham Fire Station responded to the scene in Willersley Avenue, Sidcup, at around 7pm.

The ULEZ camera – which was installed on the road earlier that day – was cut down at about 5.15pm, police said. The explosion occurred around 90 minutes later.

A spokesman from the Met said: “We are keeping an open mind as to whether or not there is a connection between the camera being cut down and the planting of the explosive device.”

A man who lives on the street – who asked not to be named – said: “I live 50 yards from the explosion. I was sitting at home when suddenly the whole house shook.

“We went out to have a look and the electric box had blown into someone’s van, a bus and a car behind the bus – there were two holes in one of the cars I could fit my fist through.”

The resident explained the explosion also damaged part of a brick wall next to where the camera had been installed.

Part of a brick wall was damaged in the explosion (Picture: @dannydervito)

He said: “If anyone was walking along they would have been killed. The bus driver was in the back of the fire engine being looked after – I think he was in shock.

“Everyone on the street had come out – we all thought our boilers had blown. It rocked every house.”

A spokeswoman from the London Fire Brigade (LFB) said: “A ULEZ camera, car and bus were damaged as a result of the incident. 

“One man was treated on scene by LAS crews.” 

The man was discharged at the scene after being treated, the LAS said.

Damage to a nearby van and the dismantled ULEZ camera following the explosion last night (Picture: @dannydervito)

The explosion comes as tensions over ULEZ continue to rise across the capital. 

This week, Gareth Johnson, Member of Parliament for Dartford in Kent, introduced a bill to parliament to give the government power to overturn the expansion of ULEZ.

The private member’s bill  – a public bill introduced by MPs who are not government ministers – had its first reading in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, in July, the High Court ruled the ULEZ expansion was lawful after a case was brought against Sadiq Khan’s plans by Bromley, Bexley, Hillingdon and Harrow councils.

Met Detective Chief Superintendent Trevor Lawry, Commander for the Bexley area said: “Thankfully, nobody was injured as a result of this incident, but it is extremely concerning that an explosive device seems to have been deliberately placed in a public place. 

“This could have very easily resulted in members of the public being very seriously injured.”

A spokesman from the Met said: “Anyone with information that could assist with the investigation should call 101 quoting CAD 5819/06DEC.”

Pictured top: Image showing damage to a nearby van and the dismantled ULEZ camera following the explosion last night (Picture: @dannydervito)

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