A group of underground activists called the ULEZ “Blade Runners” have been vandalising and stealing Sadiq Khan’s hated ULEZ cameras.
The group has vowed to stop at nothing until they’ve “taken down EVERY SINGLE one of Sadiq Khan’s low-emission cameras”.
The secret activist army has been attacking ANPR cameras that catch out drivers using high-polluting vehicles across London.
The London Mayor’s controversial scheme will force Londoners to pay £12.50-a-day to drive in Greater London from August 29, if their cars do not meet certain environmental standards.
ULEZ already covers inner London but has sparked fury in suburban car-reliant boroughs.
Sadiq Khan was accused of pricing Londoners out of the capital after unveiling the controversial ULEZ scheme.
Dressed in a balaclava to protect his identity, the father in his mid-forties revealed he had stolen 34 ULEZ cameras himself, but his group and others like them have taken down hundreds.
The Blade Runner told MailOnline: “Everything we are doing is for our own freedoms.
“It’s the tip of the iceberg. We do not live in a democracy.
“We will fight with everything we have for our freedoms.”
He continued: “Snipping, damaging with hammers, painting, disabling on a circuit level and removing. They are unbolted and they are snipped.
“The tools they use to install them are the ones we use to remove it.
“We don’t want this. It’s a way to try to… restrict our movements.
“F*** them. It will not happen because we haven’t done anything to deserve it.”
Blade Runners could end up in jail for up to four years
The mayor’s office said there were 43 instances of vandalism or theft to ULEZ cameras as of 21 March 2023, which is a lot less than the number of cameras Blade Runners allege to have taken down.
The mayor’s office said Transport for London (TfL) would not share how much each camera costs or how much repairs would be because of “commercial and confidentiality reasons”.
Sadiq Khan has claimed the police take vandalism of ULEZ cameras “very seriously”.
TfL stated that vandalism was “unacceptable” and “all incidents are reported to the police for investigation”.
However, when approached by MailOnline, the Met Police said there was “no trace” they had ever investigated ULEZ cameras being damaged or stolen.
The force said it had never heard of it happening before.
A Met Police spokesman added: “Obviously there’s potential for the potential offences to be investigated as, for instance, criminal damage or theft.”
That means if the Met ever did investigate one of the incidents and a Blade Runner was found guilty of criminal damage, they could land themselves in jail for up to four years.
Yet the Blade Runner speaking to MailOnline said although he could face prosecution, the “cause” was “worth fighting” for.
What is ULEZ?
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year, except Christmas Day (25 December). The zone currently covers all areas within the North and South Circular Roads. The North Circular (A406) and South Circular (A205) roads are not in the zone.
If your vehicle doesn’t meet the ULEZ emission standards and isn’t exempt, you need to pay a £12.50 daily charge to drive inside the zone. This applies to: Cars, motorcycles, vans and specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes) and minibuses (up to and including 5 tonnes)
Lorries, vans or specialist heavy vehicles (all over 3.5 tonnes) and buses, minibuses and coaches (all over 5 tonnes) do not need to pay the ULEZ charge. They will need to pay the LEZ charge if they do not meet the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) emissions standard.
The ULEZ is expanding from 29 August 2023 across all London boroughs.