Sussex man arrested in connection with £500,000 graffiti damage to trains and stations
An alleged graffiti vandal linked with more than £500,000 worth of damage to trains and railway stations has been arrested.
The 24-year-old man, from East Sussex, was arrested on Boxing Day last year during an operation - named Operation Sirius - dedicated to tackling graffiti on the railway over the winter period. He was spotted alongside two other people daubing graffiti at Arsenal Underground station in London, a spokesperson for British Transport Police said. The two other suspects fled the scene.
“The tags they sprayed on the station walls were linked to an ongoing operation that is investigating years’ worth of graffiti damage to the railway. The damage has totalled to more than £500,000 and has impacted train operators across London and the South East,” the spokesperson added.
The man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, assaulting an emergency worker during the arrest, and trespass. He has since been released on bail with orders preventing him from using the railway and carrying spray paint cans.
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Operation Sirius began at the start of December last year and is dedicated to tackling graffiti through increased patrols and quick deployments to reports of vandalism. British Transport Police officers are patrolling stations and routes throughout London and the surrounding counties and have arrested nine people so far.
BTP Chief Inspector Stuart Middlemas said: “Tackling vandalism on the railway is very important. It stops trains being taken out of service to be cleaned, ensuring more services are available to passengers, but most importantly it protects the people who decide to trespass on the tracks to commit such vandalism. It’s well known that the railway is incredibly dangerous, and trespassing can easily result in loss of life or life-changing injuries. Operations like Sirius are dedicated to preventing this.”