A man from Sidcup has been charged after damage was caused to London ULEZ cameras.

Joseph Nicolls has been charged with criminal damage, malicious communications, handling stolen goods and aiding or abetting the destruction of, or damage to, property valued over £5,000, the Metropolitan Police said.

Nicolls, 42, of Foots Cray High Street, Sidcup, appeared in custody at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, the Met added.

The force said it awaits an update on his custody status and the date of his next court appearance.

It comes as the Met Police has announced a crackdown on people targeting ULEZ cameras, after 96 allegations of criminal damage were passed to the force by Transport for London (TfL). 

The scheme to “help clear up London’s air” covers all areas within the North and South Circular Roads and drivers must pay a £12.50 daily charge to drive inside the zone if their vehicles do not meet required emissions standards.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan intends to expand ULEZ to cover the entirety of outer London from August 29 but last month a High Court judge decided five Conservative-led councils could challenge the plan.

TfL was not able to provide a figure for how many cameras are in the existing ULEZ zone but said it needs to install 2,750 in the expanding zone. 

The local government body, which is responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London, said it does not publicise where the cameras are to avoid people targeting them. 

Detective Superintendent Daniel Smith, of the Met Police, whose officers are leading the investigation, said: “We have been proactively targeting those we suspect of causing or seeking to cause damage.

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“We are carrying out a thorough investigation and this includes gathering CCTV, speaking to potential witnesses and following up active leads.

“We are also working with TfL to prevent further offences in the future.”

Anyone with information that could assist police is asked to call 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD 4279/10MAY.