On-line confessions of graffiti artist

A PROLIFIC graffiti artist who covered Portishead with spray paint has been caught by police - after they tracked him down bragging about his

A PROLIFIC graffiti artist who covered Portishead with spray paint has been caught by police - after they tracked him down bragging about his exploits on a teen website.The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had sprayed his tag on signs, walls and buildings across the town.The teen was so proud of his graffiti he even took pictures and put them on his MySpace page, with other teens logging on and writing to him, encouraging him to 'go vandalise'. Pictures on the page included his graffiti at the Lake Grounds, on road signs across the town and at High Down Infants School.But the youth was finally caught after police tracked him down through the internet and found a picture of him in his bedroom, standing in front of his tag which he had sprayed on his wall.When police arrested him he admitted 29 offences of graffiti across the town and was given a final warning.Portishead Police Community Sergeant Terry Scoble said: "More and more young people now have pages on sites such as MySpace and this is how this individual was identified."The site was monitored over a period of time as were his on-line blogs and conversations with other visitors to the site. This is the first time we have used the internet in such a way to target these type of problems in Portishead, but it is a tool we will continue to use."Police have also been running other undercover operations to crack down on graffiti in town.A 19-year-old man has been arrested and admitted in excess of 150 offences of graffiti.He was snared following a four-month undercover operation using a covert camera at graffiti hotspots across the town. The man has been released on police bail pending further inquiries.Sgt Scoble added: "We are fed up with the small minority of people that make the town look ugly and we will continue to tackle offenders with the use of the internet, covert surveillance and plain clothes patrols."This latest arrest sends a clear message that we will not tolerate graffiti in Portishead."This is an ongoing operation and there are likely to be further graffiti related arrests.


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