Eco group Edinburgh Tyre Extinguishers has confirmed that they are responsible for letting down the tyres of over 100 SUVs in Edinburgh.
Their group members targeted the New Town, Marchmont and Hillside, and have left leaflets on the cars they hit explaining: “we do this because driving around urban areas in your massive vehicle has huge consequences for others.”
This operation is said to be the groups largest yet, and comes after they targeted Portobello, where they said they would be stepping up their activity after the council elections to ensure new councillors would honour their pledge to lower emissions.
Within Edinburgh council, the SNP and the Greens are committed to a number of measures including congestion charging for drivers heading into Edinburgh, a Low Emission Zone where the most polluting vehicles would be banned and a Workplace Parking Levy.
However, many of these measures will rely on support from other political parties, and there has been criticism from climate activists that the planned measures do not far and fast enough.
A spokesperson for the Edinburgh Tyre Extinguishers said: "Politicians talk, we act. We will defend ourselves from air pollution, climate change and unsafe roads, and we urge others to join us.
“Edinburgh is a small city with good public transport. Nobody living in the centre of town needs to own one of these death machines."
They added that they want a “massive investment in free, comprehensive public transport.”
Their aim is to make it impossible to own an SUV in urban areas.
Cllr Max Mitchell, Conservative councillor for the Inverleith ward said: “These people are not activists, they are criminals with no regard for the consequences of their actions.
"Just last night, a constituent working as a doctor who is frequently on call wrote to me after being targeted twice in the last two months.
"Despite having a sign on her car stating she is on-call, these criminals slashed the doctor’s tyres preventing her from getting to work.
"It is vital to address the climate crisis, but vandalism is an extremely poor way to encourage people. The police are aware, and I hope they will work to prevent and catch the culprits.”
Edinburgh Tyre Extinguishers have warned that their reported number of SUVs targeted would be an underestimation as their HQ is not always contacted by members who have hit certain areas.
Superintendent Mark Rennie from Police Scotland commented: “We have received a number of reports of vehicle tyres being deliberately deflated in the Edinburgh area. This is a reckless and potentially dangerous act which could put drivers and road users at risk.
“Enquiries are ongoing and we would encourage members of the public to call us immediately if they see anyone acting suspiciously close to parked vehicles.
“I would also urge all drivers to check their vehicle before setting off and to contact the police on 101 should they suspect their vehicle has been tampered with.”