ULEZ camera explosion Sidcup: 'Deliberate act caused by IED', say police
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An explosion which damaged an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) camera is not being treated as a terrorist incident - but it is thought to have been deliberately caused with an "improvised explosive device (IED)".
Police say the explosion in southeast London "could have very easily resulted in members of the public being very seriously injured".
Met officers and London Fire Brigade were called to reports of an explosion on Willersley Avenue, Sidcup, at approximately 6.45pm on Wednesday (December 6). A ULEZ camera and "surrounding property" were damaged.
The Met says it is believed the camera, which had been installed on the road earlier that day, was cut down at around 5.15pm - 90 minutes before the explosion, which damaged it further.
ULEZ explosion 'not terrorism'
The force said in a statement: "The incident is being treated as a deliberate act, which was caused by what appears to be a low-sophistication improvised explosive device (IED).
"At this early stage, the incident is not being treated as terrorism, but officers from the Counter Terrorism Command, which includes those with specialist expertise in explosives, are leading the investigation, working in close liaison with local officers in the area."
'Could easily have caused serious injury' - Bexley commander
Detective Chief Superintendent Trevor Lawry 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.
“Because of the seriousness of this incident, we are making urgent enquiries to try and identify anyone involved, and officers with specialist expertise and capability from our Counter Terrorism Command are leading the investigation.
“This was an extremely dangerous incident that could have resulted in innocent members of the public being injured or worse. If you have any information that could assist our investigation, then I would urge you to get in touch immediately.”
Met Police ULEZ camera explosion investigation
Investigators say they are "keeping an open mind" as to whether there is a connection between the camera being cut down and the planting of the IED.
The explosion caused further damage to the camera, as well as to some nearby vehicles and a residential property was also damaged. However, no members of the public were injured.
The remains of an IED are undergoing a forensic examination, and officers are studying CCTV footage from the area.
There have been no arrests and police said: "Although this is being treated as an isolated incident, we would also advise anyone who sees suspicious activity or a suspicious device on or nearby to a ULEZ camera should not approach and should contact police immediately by calling 999."
Anyone with information that could assist with the investigation should call 101 quoting CAD 5819/06DEC.