London counter-terrorism arrests made following explosion of Ulez camera.

Two men, aged 60 and 61, have been apprehended and their residences searched following an explosion in Sidcup on 6 December.

Counter-terrorism authorities have detained the individuals after an ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) camera detonated, causing damage to nearby vehicles and property in south-east London.

Authorities from the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism command arrested a 60-year-old individual from Sidcup and a 61-year-old individual from Horsham on Monday on suspicion of conspiring to cause an explosion that could endanger life or property. The latter was also arrested for suspected criminal damage.

Both suspects are currently in custody at a south London police station while searches are being conducted at two locations in Sidcup and Horsham, according to Scotland Yard.

The Sidcup camera, which was installed on 6 December, was tampered with approximately one and a half hours before it was later blown up. A previous statement from the Met revealed that the incident was triggered by a “low-sophistication improvised explosive device.”

Photos shared on social media by residents living nearby displayed significant dents in a van and damage to the window frame of a neighbouring house. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

DCS Trevor Lawry, the commander for the Bexley area, commented, “The explosion could have had much more catastrophic consequences, and today’s arrests demonstrate how seriously the Met is treating this incident. My local officers are collaborating with and supporting the counter-terrorism command, who have expertise in dealing with incidents involving the use of explosives.”

A spokesperson for London Mayor Sadiq Khan also condemned the incident, describing it as “grossly irresponsible behavior that puts both lives and property at risk.”

The Ulez scheme seeks to enhance air quality by imposing a daily fee of £12.50 for vehicles that do not meet emissions standards to enter the zone. This primarily applies to petrol cars manufactured before 2005 and diesel cars manufactured before 2015. Number plate recognition cameras are employed to enforce the scheme.

Khan’s decision to extend the Ulez area to encompass all of Greater London starting from 29 August has faced vehement opposition from the government, Conservative MPs, and certain media outlets.

The scheme has also led to a surge in acts of vandalism. Data released by the Met in November revealed nearly 1,000 recorded crimes linked to the theft or vandalism of the cameras in the past seven months.

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