Wednesday 2 Jul 2003

SURVEILLANCE OPERATION CRACKS GRAFFITI

Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western
Arrests have been made following a successful undercover operation between Network Rail and British Transport Police to clamp down on graffiti near Paddington Station.                         The west wall, located on the approach to Paddington, has been a popular haunt for vandals daubing graffiti.  In a recent joint operation between Network Rail and British Transport Police two people were arrested and may be prosecuted for causing criminal damage.             The operation was set up after the graffiti on the wall was painted over. During three nights of surveillance by BTP officers, two people were arrested, a further two disturbed and a number of people questioned about trespassing.             “As soon as the wall was painted we noted that it was placed on a number of graffiti websites as ‘the place’ to go,” said Paul Denton, Great Western regional route crime manager for Network Rail. “We then stationed plain clothes policemen placed in the area to catch the graffiti ‘artists’ at work.”             Among those involved in the operation were Network Rail’s environment manager Paul Giesberg, general contracts manager Sarah Thornton, and BTP Sgt Pete Burton, as well as Paul Denton. -more- Graffiti – 2             Since the operation, further graffiti has appeared but surveillance of the wall will continue on a regular basis and it is hoped more people will be caught. Said Paul: “We hope that as the number of arrests increases the problem will disappear. Hopefully, the word will get around that when we paint over graffiti sites there are likely to be policemen waiting for the vandals.”

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