Anti-ULEZ 'Blade Runner' brazenly sabotages camera using tree lopper

EXCLUSIVE: Moment anti-ULEZ ‘Blade Runner’ brazenly sabotages camera using a tree lopper – as underground activists wage campaign to bring down Sadiq Khan’s low-emission monitors

  • A member of the group is filmed in a London street snipping ULEZ camera wire 
  • Diners nonchalantly chat to one another as vandalism takes place next to them   

A ‘Blade Runner’ has been captured on camera sabotaging two of Sadiq Khan’s much-hated ULEZ cameras as nearby diners nonchalantly watch on.  

A member from the secret activist group can be seen in the video purposefully walking into view and hoisting what appears to be a tree lopper in the air. 

The shadowy hooded masked figure then strolls towards the ULEZ camera attached to a traffic light in a London street and snips the cable.

One woman smoking a cigarette looks around at the dark-clothed figure before carrying on with her conversation, while a bearded man with sunglasses on his head films the vandalism on his phone. 

The camera then pans to the left as the Blade Runner casually walks to another ULEZ camera less than 300 feet away and uses the gardening tool to cut the wire which then can be seen dangling. 

It comes amid a campaign of anti-ULEZ action from the secretive group, who have targeted cameras elsewhere in London. 

A Blade Runner was captured on video walking up to a ULEZ camera and snipping the cable. A diner sits nearby and smokes a cigarette as she looks at her mobile phone

The activist from the covert group then casually walks to another ULEZ camera nearby and uses the gardening tool to snip the cable

It is currently not known where or when the video was taken.  

The Blade Runners vowed back in July they would stop at nothing until they had taken down every single one of the ULEZ cameras. 

That month an onlooker filmed a man calmly unscrewing one of the cameras as the hatred of the Mayor of London’s low emission scheme began to grow as the expansion date drew nearer. 

A month later a Blade Runner climbed a lamppost and used a drill to tear down an enforcement camera in Bromley, south-east London.  

The 28-second clip of the latest incident has received 183 reactions since it was posted on Facebook on Friday, with 127 likes and 52 heart emojis.

All of the 28 comments are positive with many quick to applaud and praise the activist.

One person – referring to the Blade Runners – said ‘each & everyone should receive a medal the size of a dustbin lid’, while others called him a ‘hero’. 

Another said: ‘Wow. Everyone knows what’s going on and no one cares – it’s as clear as day that ULEZ isn’t going to work. It’s comical how blind [Sadiq] Khan is to the general will of the people.

‘Well done. This is brave s**t.’

The same video appeared on group London by Londoner’s TikTok page on Saturday to backdrop music of ‘Legend’ by Marcos Yap. 

The viral video has been viewed more than 320,000 times and had more than 19,000 likes and 1,900 comments on the social media platform.

Many said the Blade Runners are the ‘heroes we never knew we would need’ with some also calling for them to be given a ‘medal of honour’ and be nominated for King Charles’ Honours List. 

Since April the covert group has been stealing and vandalising the Mayor of London’s ULEZ cameras ahead of the zone being expanded. 

One man carries on with his conversation as the vandalism is carried out in the background. It is currently not known when and where the video was taken

The group has been attacking ANPR cameras that catch out drivers using high-polluting vehicles across the capital.

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 don’t meet certain environmental standards.

One of the secretive Blade Runners met with MailOnline and vowed: ‘We are going to take down every single one no matter what’.

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.

He told MailOnline: ‘In terms of damage it’s way more than what [Khan and TfL] have stated. It’s at least a couple of hundred.

‘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.’

Mr Khan has previously claimed the police take vandalism of ULEZ cameras ‘very seriously’.

A secret army is vandalising and stealing Sadiq Khan’s Ulez cameras. Two of the ‘Blade Runners’ previously showed MailOnline some of the cameras they had taken down

The controversial scheme is set to force Londoners to pay £12.50-a-day to drive in the capital from August 29, if their cars don’t meet certain environmental standards

Transport for London (TfL) said vandalism was ‘unacceptable’ and ‘all incidents are reported to the police for investigation’.

However, when approached by MailOnline in April, 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 at the time: ‘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.

As of March 21, 2023, The Mayor’s office said there were 43 instances of vandalism or theft to ULEZ cameras. 

That number increased to 200 by July and sparked Mr Khan to threaten to use mobile cameras.

TfL said it would no longer provide details on just how many cameras were being vandalised, as there is ‘danger of inadvertently giving [vandals] the oxygen of publicity,’ Mr Khan said. 

The Blade Runners appear to be using tree loppers to cut the cables of the ULEZ cameras. In July, Transport for London said 200 cameras had been vandalised or stolen

Mr Khan admitted during the Mayor’s Question Time that a ‘small number’ of people had been vandalising the cameras and that two had been charged with vandalism offences, facing a court hearings.

He said: ‘Having taken advice from policing partners and others, TfL has taken the position that it will not be releasing information about the number of cameras that have been subjected to criminal damage.’

As a way of trying to dodge vandals, TfL has been using ‘cherry picker’ lorries to place cameras out of reach of civilians.

This came after a number of cameras erected on top of traffic signals were vandalised or removed by angry Londoners.

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