CROYDON IN CRISIS: London is suffering a Tory-inspired crime wave which saw more than nine incidents every day in September attacking ULEZ cameras and equipment. EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES
A formal complaint has been filed to the Borough Solicitor over Croydon Mayor Jason Perry’s role in “anti-social media” – his secret Facebook group where criminal damage and vandalism to public property is condoned and often encouraged.
Inside Croydon went undercover to monitor the activities of the “Croydon say no to ULEZ expansion”, where pro-pollution Perry is a group admin and “group expert”, while policing minister Chris “Soft On Criminals” Philp, the Conservative MP for Croydon South, is a group member.
Inside Croydon and Private Eye magazine have also both established that Perry’s Facebook group added a sentence to their rules warning against encouraging criminal behaviour only after they had been approached by the publications for comment.
Now, Croydon Council’s Monitoring Officer, Stephen Lawrence-Orumwense, has been asked to consider piss-poor Perry’s prima facie breach of the Nolan Principles.
The Nolan Principles on conduct in public life are entrenched in the council’s code of conduct. “All public office-holders are both servants of the public and stewards of public resources,” they say.
The Nolan Principles require those in public office, such as Croydon’s Tory Mayor, at all times to demonstrate “Accountability”, “Openness” and “Honesty”.
“Leadership” is another of the seven principles, which demands office-holders “should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs”.
The complaint lodged over Conservative Perry’s conduct comes as official Met Police figures for September showed at least 285 ULEZ-related crimes in September, a rate of more than nine incidents per day throughout the month.
The Met say that they have been deploying extra officers to deal with this Tory-inspired crime wave, leaving fewer officers available to handle other criminal activity.
A total of 795 ULEZ crimes have been recorded in the six months to the end of September. Of those, 200 were reports of cameras being stolen, while 595 cameras have been damaged.
A 52-year-old man was arrested in Bexley on September 22 on suspicion of criminal damage. Two others have been arrested as part of the police operation to tackle ULEZ-related crime, with one set to face a trial in June 2024.
ULEZ, the Ultra Low Emission Zone, was extended to all of outer London at the end of August, with anyone driving non-compliant vehicles for the first month receiving a warning letter. The £12.50 per day charge for the most polluting vehicles is being charged now.
A Transport for London spokesperson told the BBC, “Camera vandalism will not stop the ULEZ operating London-wide.”
In the formal complaint lodged with Croydon Council about Mayor Perry’s conduct, it said of the “Croydon say no to ULEZ expansion” Facebook group: “Members of this group have posted multiple messages encouraging or condoning breaches of the criminal law, such as criminal damage to ULEZ cameras.
“Until this matter was raised by the media (such as Inside Croydon and Private Eye) there was not even a rule in the group that there should be no encouragement of illegal activity. Such a rule has now belatedly been added, but only after the media outlets publicised the matter.
“To the best of my knowledge Mayor Perry has still not provided to the authorities evidence of criminal activity revealed in the Facebook group.
“I believe that Mayor Perry’s actions, or lack of them, are contrary to the Nolan Principles.”
The complainant has suggested remedies for the Mayor’s contempt for the rule of law, including an apology from Perry and for him to shut down his dodgy Facebook group.
“There would, of course, be no objection to the setting up of a new group which made it clear from the outset that it will not tolerate postings which encourage or condone illegal behaviour, and that any evidence of such behaviour will be reported to the police and other authorities.”
Read more: Perry should apologise for anti-ULEZ Facebook group says MP
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Read more: Mayor Perry accepted hundreds of pounds of gifts in first year
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