Activists claim to have deflated the tyres of 50 SUVs in Clifton earlier this week.
The campaign group, which calls itself the Tyre Extinguishers, came to prominence earlier this year when they claimed to have deflated the tyres of hundreds of vehicles. They say they are leading a new movement across the country encouraging people to take action against urban SUVs and they have previously claimed they specifically target affluent areas of the UK.
In a statement earlier today, the group said: “This is to let you know that on Tuesday evening, Bristol Tyre Extinguishers disarmed 50 SUVs in the Clifton area of Bristol.
“Bristol is living through an air pollution and climate crisis, and we won’t stop until these monster vehicles disappear from our streets.”
Avon & Somerset Police is treating the spree of incidents as criminal damage and is asking anyone who witnessed anything to come forward.
A police spokesperson said: “We are appealing for witnesses and information after multiple cars’ tyres were deflated in Bristol. We received reports that a number of vehicles’ tyres had been let down overnight on Tuesday 17 May on Mortimer Road in Clifton.
“A note had then been left on the windscreen of the vehicles, leading officers to believe the incident is linked to an environmental protest group. We are treating these incidents as criminal damage.
“If you saw anything suspicious or have any information which could aid the investigation, please contact us.”
The group said their actions have now taken place in more than 20 locations across the UK, as well as Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Arizona, Colorado and New Zealand since the start of March. It said they estimate they have deflated nearly 3,000 SUVs.
The Tyre Extinguishers describes itself as “leaderless” and encourages people to take action by reading instructions on how to deflate tyres on its website. People can also print off leaflets to leave on the windscreen of affected vehicles to inform drivers what has happened.
Activists are urged to avoid SUVs “clearly used” by people with disabilities or by tradespersons.
The New Scientist reported how global analysis found the rise of SUVs last year wiped out the environmental gains from electric cars.
Last year, one of the UK’s most popular selling cars was a Kia Sportage SUV, according to Auto Express. SUVs emit 25 per cent more carbon dioxide on average than a medium-sized car, and have jumped in popularity in the UK from nearly seven per cent of private cars sold in the UK in 2009 to more than 21 per cent in 2018, according to the UK energy Research Centre.