The Mayor has refused to reverse a decision that would allow Met Police to track the movements of Londoners, despite serious concerns about police behaviour raised since he signed it.
But, when I asked him at Mayor’s Question Time to pause plans for sharing a database of all number plates read by cameras enforcing the expanded ULEZ with the police, the Mayor said any further decisions would still lie with him and agreed to meet me and campaigners.
The Mayor said today: “Before the Met Police Service gets access to any of the cameras in the expanded ULEZ there would need to be another data protection impact assessment and some of the things you mentioned would be considered under that. And then I’d make a decision, as you said, a Mayoral direction if I decided to proceed.”
With campaigners, I have been challenging his original decision to allow TfL to share data from its expanded ULEZ camera network data with police since last year.
The Mayor’s plans to potentially hand TfL the power to share Londoners’ movements with the Met is shocking at a time where Londoners’ trust in the police is rock bottom.
I told the Mayor that the damning verdict delivered by Casey should mean that all plans to share this vast database of Londoners’ movements are called off.
The Mayor confirmed today that TfL still hasn’t shared data on cameras that track vehicles in the expanded ULEZ zone with the Met Police, and that he has expressed some doubt that this may go ahead.
I am pleased he has agreed to meet with Open Rights Group and other migrant and racial justice campaigners to discuss their concerns.
Meg Foulkes, Head of Policy and Litigation at Open Rights Group says:
“We’re pleased to be joining with Sian Berry to ensure that vast amounts of highly sensitive data isn’t shared with the Met police who have been proven to not be safe, competent or trustworthy holders of personal data. We are hopeful that the Mayor will honour his invitation to meet with Open Rights Group and affected communities who we are joining with to resist the increasing surveillance regime being constructed in our capital, already one of the most surveilled cities in the world.”
Watch our discussion here:
In May 2022 the Mayor signed a decision that delegated authority to Transport for London (TfL) to share all camera data from road user charging schemes. Until this decision, the only data that was shared was for central London, covering the area of the original congestion charge.
Whilst that decision was being made the Mayor had already said that he was “utterly disgusted” by the actions of police officers. Since then, the Casey review has further underlined the problems within the Met Police.
Members of the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) on Automated Number-Plate Recognition (ANPR) road cameras have described the Mayor’s plans as: “a gargantuan increase of surveillance in London, where there is a strong set of democratic structures i.e. the councils, so the matter should be taken to them so that they know what is happening. There may also be a disproportionate effect on ethnic minority communities due to the placement of the cameras – something that has already happened in the West Midlands