Bristol is the first city in the country to get a police team dedicated to eradicating graffiti and dealing with the so-called “artists”. However Bristol’s most famous tagger Banksy seems to be exempt from prosecution
Undercover officers are working round the clock to bring to book “taggers”
The fact that officials are not removing art by the notorious spray painter Banksy from buildings around the city is sending out the wrong message, police say.
They are also concerned that in spite of scores of spray-can vandals being arrested and put before the courts in recent months, not one has been sent to jail.
Some taggers, so-called because they daub their unique name tag on buildings and walls, are responsible for hundreds of acts of vandalism each.
One of the most prolific to appear in court was Daniel Tyndale, 21, of Fishponds Road, who was given a five-year Asbo, a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and 300 hours of unpaid work in the community.
He admitted tagging 350 buildings, including a police station, the listed Bristol University psychology building and the Polish Church in Cheltenham Road.
He had a number of tags, including “dotcom”, “norm” and “planet” and targeted public car parks as well as private homes and vehicles, and even tagged a law firm outside the Crown Court. He alone was responsible for Â£1 million of damage, police estimated.
PC Ali Ross, who heads up the undercover graffiti team said: ” It’s about getting respect for their name around the world. They will spend a lot of time perfecting their style and the fact that Banksy’s work is being allowed to remain on buildings around Bristol is causing us a few problems.”
Bristol City Council refused to scrub off Banksy’s controversial painting of a man fleeing his lover’s bedroom daubed on the side of a Grade II listed building in Park Street.