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Police in Lambeth arrest two after LTN vandalism

South London borough has pledged “zero tolerance” approach to people damaging signs and planters

Police in Lambeth have arrested two people in connection with vandalism and removal of signs in low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in the south London borough.

The arrests have been made as the borough steps up efforts to prevent such damage from happening, including urging local residents to be vigilant.

Brixton Blog reports that a man was arrested last Saturday 31 July after signs were spray-painted over in the Ferndale Road LTN, one of five such schemes in the borough.

On Sunday 1 August, another arrest was made after a man was alleged to have stolen a sign in the same LTN.

Police are reportedly in possession of CCTV evidence, with the council installing cameras in recent weeks and stepping up patrols following a number of instances of vandalism to signs and planters.

Councillor Danny Adilypour, joint cabinet member for sustainable transport, environment and clean air, said: “We are taking a zero-tolerance approach to this vandalism and any associated anti-social behaviour, including verbal abuse of staff maintaining these sites.

“We will press charges against any individual involved in these criminal acts where we have enough evidence and we will publicly name and shame anyone found guilty.

“We have been clear throughout that people are entitled to express their views over our low traffic neighbourhood trials, but there is no excuse for acts of criminal vandalism.

“It puts residents at risk and this is not an effective way to engage with the council or fellow residents, so I am glad that these arrests have been made, and we will continue to monitor the borough’s five low traffic neighbourhoods.”

Last December, Lambeth Council revealed that the LTNs introduced last year in response to the coronavirus pandemic and to curb rat-running drivers and improve air quality had resulted in big falls in motor traffic in the areas concerned and adjacent roads.

> Car traffic down by almost two thirds inside one south London low traffic neighbourhood

Despite surveys showing public support for such interventions in London and beyond, they continue to be opposed by a small, vocal minority, with vandalism taking place in several boroughs in the capital and councillors even receiving death threats.

> Backers of London LTNs outnumber opponents by three to one

In Lambeth itself, Brian Haven from Brixton was handed a suspended jail sentence in June for harassing local MP Florence Eshalomi over LTNs – even though such schemes are the responsibility of the council.

> Online troll who abused Labour MP over low traffic neighbourhoods sentenced

And in June, a High Court judge rejected a legal challenge brought against Lambeth Council for its introduction of LTNs, ruling that the borough had acted in line with regulations governing their implementation and that they did not discriminate against people with disabilities.

> High Court judge rejects challenge to Lambeth’s Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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