Police: Putin and Hitler graffiti in Saffron Walden mirrors satirical style of street artist Banksy

Examples of the graffiti found in Saffron Walden. Examples of the graffiti found in Saffron Walden.

Thursday, April 3, 2014
11:03 AM

Tasteless graffiti – including an image of Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler – has been daubed across walls at three hot-spots in Saffron Walden.

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Examples of the graffiti found in Saffron Walden.Examples of the graffiti found in Saffron Walden.

Police are investigating the incidents, believed to have occurred overnight on Sunday, but do not believe they are of a racist nature.

One of the areas affected is the listed wall which backs on to the pond at Swan Meadow car park. More graffiti is across walls that run along the battle ditches from Abbey Lane to Beck Lane.

There is also some on the footpath behind Uttlesford District Council’s office.

Saffron Walden town clerk Simon Lloyd said the council was “horrified” by the act of vandalism – exacerbated by the fact that this July marks the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.

Cllr Alastair Walters, Uttlesford’s cabinet member for community safety, called the graffiti “disgraceful and mindless” and said it would not be tolerated.

The district council has been notified of the vandalism and is arranging the graffiti’s removal.

Sgt Tim Scott, based at Saffron Walden police station, told the Reporter: “Our enquiries are ongoing and we are acting robustly to identify suspects.

“This isn’t normally an issue in Saffron Walden so we hope we don’t see a rise in graffiti.

“We will do everything we can to stop that happening.”

Insp Colin Cox said he did not believe the graffiti was meant to be racist. He compared it to the satirical-style of graffiti done by mysterious British street artist Banksy.

Insp Cox told the Reporter: “It looks to me to be more tongue-in-cheek, going against the views associated with the two leaders.”

He said enquiries to identify the suspects were ongoing and that police had put in a request to the town council to view footage from nearby CCTV cameras in an attempt to identify the vandals.

The graffiti included an anarchy sign, various ‘tags’ – police will compare them to other incidents in an attempt to identify a match – and a stencil image of Russian president Putin together with Nazi leader Hitler.

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