Disgruntled Drivers Responsible for UK Letter Bombs?

A letter bomb exploded yesterday at the offices of the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agency in Swansea, South Wales, injuring a woman. It was the seventh such incident reported at a UK agency linked to traffic enforcement in the past three weeks, and the third in three days, according to an article in the Guardian. A total of six people have been injured so far, according to a statement issued just yesterday by police. 

Today’s blast reinforced growing fears that a disgruntled driver, or someone else with a grudge against motoring enforcement bodies, had launched a concerted letter bombing campaign.

The DVLA attack followed an explosion yesterday at a company linked to speed cameras and another on Monday at the London offices of Capita, the firm that collects the capital’s congestion charge.

Drivers angered by speed-monitoring cameras, some of whom refer to police vehicles carrying speed-detection devices as "the Talivan," have engaged in acts of sabotage in the past. The UK police have labeled such criminals as terrorists.

camerapop.jpgA  leader of one of the main militant groups opposed to speed monitoring and congestion pricing, Motorists Against Detection, denied that his group was involved in the letter bomb campaign. "We’re not responsible for these attacks
and do not condone causing injury," said the man, who goes by the name "Captain Gatso." "However, there is a war against motorists and it seems this is an act of retaliation." His group’s site features several photos of speed cameras that have been blown up, with approving captions. Another like-minded site, Roadracers, sports this photo of what appears to be a camera being detonated with pedestrians in the background. It’s not clear where or when the photo was taken, or whether it is genuine.

  • mfs

    Since people who vandalize SUVs are branded “ecoterrorists”, I propose we call these guy(s) “petrolterrorists” or “petroterrorists”

  • brent

    I believe these incidents are destined to become more common as motorists resist having their entitlements stripped away by an increasingly aware public. If just asking them to obey a few laws is enough to stoke this level of violence, what will happen when non motorists, who are treated like second class citizens, begin to demand more public space which is safer and cleaner? I am not optimistic as to how this could unfold in America. The government, media, and corporate institutions have already taken their positions and the public realm is impoverished, leaving us with not much to lose. That is why they will resort to more direct violence.

  • StopLookThink

    We’ve all got to stop acting like rabid animals.If you’re caught speeding you get what you deserve. The speed limits were not set as personal attacks against ANY citizen,but to assist in maintaining safety on the highways and in crowded cities. If a person is capable of violently destroying public property with no concern for passers-by who could be injured from such a blast,then one must scrutinize carefully deeper deficits in the morality of that person. I’m not saying we should roll over and play dead when a law exists that a person or group of persons objects to, but violence in this case is not the way ,there are legal avenues to be pursued instead,and ultimatly such behaviour reduces the perpretator to the status of a common hoodlum. We need to get back to basics in terms of our morals and the standards we hold them to.

  • Hey people this is scene from Johny English movie!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have recognized it!!!

    Don’t charge motorists they are just bunch of cool guys on bikes, go and hunt real criminals instead!!!!!!!

  • I’ve never understood how speed limits, in places where motorists are the majority, could be so low that the majority feels compelled to break them. (Not that I’m going to take up arms for speeding drivers any time soon.)

  • The NY Times today says two of the bombs were directed at outfits related to the London congestion charging program.

  • Perhaps there was a related motive for the tube bombings too? They charge a fare to use that also.

  • Spud Spudly

    Obviously I don’t support the use of letter bombs or of anything meant to harm another individual.

    But before anyone rails on Brits for destroying speeding cameras, ask yourself how you’d feel if there were government cameras everywhere snapping pictures of you every time you broke the law. All the proud pedestrians on this site probably jaywalk with abandon, even though it sometimes imperils themselves and others. What would you do if you got a fine in the mail every time you failed to completely toe the line?

    And this applies to the Brits in particular, since they have more surveillance cameras per capita than anywhere else in the world. A backlash is inevitable (though letter bombs are not the way to about it).

  • crzwdjk

    I hear in Britain they now have cameras watching the speed cameras. What’s next? Cameras watching those cameras?

  • Killer jaywalker

    The next time a jaywalker kills someone, we can talk about jaywalking enforcement cameras. But since we still don’t have speed enforcement cameras, and we know speeding contributes to a big share of cycling and pedestrian deaths and serious injuries, why don’t we hold off on equating jaywalkers with killer drivers?

    Spud, I hope for your sake you are getting paid to foster these nonsensical arguements. Though if you are getting paid, I’m not sure if it’s by Streetsblog to generate comments, or the deep pocketed dimwits who have warped our societal values so profoundly.

  • Spud “non-killer motorist” Spudly

    Nope, nobody’s paying me. I wish they were.

    I only used jaywalking as an example because of the nature of this site and the proud pedestrians that inhabit these discussion boards. But it could be anything — do you want Big Brother taking your picture any time your toe goes over the line? You’d probably be broke, buried under a pile of tickets, and mighty angry.

    Notice I made no mention of NYC’s growing collection of red light cameras. Running red lights is truly stupid and dangerous, and the vast majority of people obey red light laws because red light laws make sense. But many speed limits don’t make sense (not the fact that they exist, but the level they’re set at). Does anyone drive 50 mph on the Palisades Pkwy? People don’t respect laws that don’t make sense.

    That’s why you jaywalk. BTW, jaywalkers do kill — themselves. I’m a non-rehabilitated jaywalker, having been busted by a very apologetic pair of New York’s Finest during Giuliani’s infamous crackdown on the “Boulevard of Death.” Three hours in the Queens County Courthouse and $25 later I’m proud to say that I still jaywalk every day.

    “Hi, I’m Spud and I’m a jaywalker.”

    “Hi, Spud!”

    (BTW, I like your choice of name for this thread. It’s OK if you change names because as long as you use the word “argument” I know it’s the same person.)

  • ABG

    I think most of us here agree that the UK’s obsession with security cameras is repulsive and shameful. The problem is that these violent motorists aren’t taking aim at any of the other security cameras – only the ones designed to catch dangerous speeders.

  • Spud “non-killer motorist” Spudly

    I’m sure others are taking aim at other type of cameras.

    “Dangerous” is a relative term. Many of the speeding cameras both in the UK and parts of this country are set to snap your picture if you exceed the posted limit by very little.

    And here in the US many of those cameras are operated by private companies that have contracts with local or state governments that allow them to keep a large percentage of any money collected by using their cameras. I’m sure many people here think that’s great, but I have a problem with private companies enforcing public laws for their own enrichment.

    “Violent motorists?” Violence against what? Cameras? (I’m not talking about the mailbombers here — I mean the people who try to disable the cameras. This has been an ongoing issue in the UK for a while now but it’s the first time I’ve heard about mailbombs.)

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