'Blade Runner' vigilante filmed 'frying some Ulez for breakfast' as cameras MELT

'Blade Runner' vigilante filmed 'frying some Ulez for breakfast' as cameras MELT
Matt Houston/Facebook/GB News
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 27/02/2024

- 09:14

‘Unlucky Mr Khan, here’s another one’, jabbed an onlooker

A pair of Ulez cameras have been targeted with heat guns and electric saws in new attacks by vigilante ‘Blade Runners’ demonstrating against the controversial scheme, new footage on social media shows.

One video, posted on Monday, shows a heat gun attached to a telescopic pole being used to melt the glass on one of the cameras, which scan vehicles to check their compliance with the Ulez scheme.

A voice in the video can be heard singing “frying some Ulez for breakfast… have some of that”, before saying “unlucky Mr Khan, here’s another one… gutted for you”.

Another video, posted below, shows a masked ‘blade runner’ using an electric saw to topple a pole with Ulez cameras attached to it.

In the video, the same voice behind the “frying” jab in the other clip can be heard taunting “timber… see you later… have some of that… bye” as the pole falls to the ground.

The barbs appear to be those of poster Matt Houston, who has developed a significant social media following after posting several videos of anti-Ulez protests and action in the past.

Reaction on social media to the damage has been positive, with users praising the cameras’ destruction and ‘Blade Runners’.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “The Met continues to treat criminal activity in relation to Ulez seriously and has deployed considerable resources to our operation.”

Sadiq Khan with damaged Ulez cameras

Mayor Sadiq Khan was taunted by an onlooker as one camera was melted

Matt Houston/Facebook/PA

“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.”

While a TfL spokesperson said: “Vandalism is unacceptable and all incidents on our network are reported to the police for investigation.

“Criminal damage to Ulez cameras or vehicles puts the perpetrators at risk of prosecution and injury, while simultaneously risking the safety of the public.

“Camera vandalism will not stop the Ulez operating London-wide… All vandalised cameras are repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

“We have an extensive camera network which is sufficient to support the effective operation of the scheme.

“Anyone driving a non-compliant vehicle within the expanded zone will be detected and we advise everyone to check whether their vehicle is compliant and to consider the various support that is available to help transition to greener modes of transport.”

Ulez, the clean air scheme introduced by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, was expanded to the whole of Greater London last August in a move which saw non-compliant vehicle drivers forced to pay £12.50 for each day they drive.

The scheme has received widespread criticism for its unaffordability – and has led to the rise of the ‘blade runners’ like those seen in the videos above, who have taken extreme measures to obscure, damage or destroy the Ulez enforcement cameras.

The cameras utilise Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to enforce the scheme, and protestors’ efforts to take them down have let drivers escape fines.

Since last August, over 1,000 cameras have been stolen or damaged across the capital – and the latest footage indicates that number may continue to rise.

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