Banksy policeman now on the side of the artists

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 September 2015

Darren Fox and his artwork.

Darren Fox and his artwork.

Archant

A FORMER policeman who was once assigned to an operation to catch graffiti artist Banksy is 'gamekeeper-turned-poacher' as he has now taken up art after quitting the force.

Darren Fox was assigned to Operation Anderson in 1989, a police investigation to tackle street art and graffiti – of which Banksy was a target.

Darren, who lives in Shrubbery Road in Weston-super-Mare, said: “We never caught him. I saw a lot of what he did, but never saw him.

“But living somewhere, you cannot help but be affected by the music and the culture and art, and the strange thing is he ended up influencing me many years later with my own art.

“So, it’s almost like gamekeeper turned poacher.”

Darren said he is now very sympathetic towards street artists, despite the time he spent trying to catch them.

He said: “At the time, nothing related to art. It was just vandalism.

“There was a lot of intelligence work going on in trying to identify the offenders – one of which was Banksy.

“I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I was just trying to fulfil a role as a police officer and trying to find out who they were and bringing them to book.

“But I am very sympathetic towards it now.

“Before, I was on one side of the fence, and now I’m on the side of the street artists.”

Darren said his work is informed by street art, and is contemporary and abstract.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard about Banksy setting up in Weston.

“It has been great to share what is going on, and I’m sure with the number of people coming in, it will be a great boost to the economy.”

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