'Graffiti vandal' linked with £500k worth of damage caught in Highbury

Fans arrive Arsenal tube station before the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. PR

An alleged graffiti vandal linked to £500,000 worth of damage was arrested after reportedly being seen spray painting at Arsenal Underground station - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

An alleged graffiti vandal linked with more than £500,000 worth of damage to trains and stations has been arrested in Highbury.

The 24-year-old man from East Sussex was allegedly caught in the act alongside two other people painting graffiti at Arsenal Underground station early on Boxing Day morning.

The tags they sprayed on the station walls were linked to an ongoing police operation that is investigating years’ worth of graffiti damage to the railway.

British Transport Police (BTP) says the damage has totalled more than £500,000 and impacted train operators across London and the South East.

The man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, assaulting an emergency worker during the arrest and trespass. The other two suspects fled the scene.

He has since been released on bail with orders preventing him from using the railway and carrying spray paint cans.

BTP Chief Inspector Stuart Middlemas said: "Tackling vandalism on the railway 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."