CCTV released of suspected memorial paint vandal

Footage has been released of a suspected vandal thought to have splashed white paint over five memorials and statues in central London.

CCTV clips show the man walking with a “distinctive gait”, carrying a plastic bag, dressed in a cap and dark, paint-stained clothing, along a busy route in the capital on Sunday January 20.

Damage to the Bomber Command Memorial, in London’s Green Park that evening caused widespread public anger, which grew as four similar incidents were reported to police the following day.

Other targets included the “Allies Statue” statue of Second World War prime minister Sir Winston Churchill and his US counterpart Franklin D Roosevelt in New Bond Street, the Canada Memorial in Green Park, and the Royal Marines Graspan Memorial on The Mall.

The memorial to murdered police officer Yvonne Fletcher in St James’s Square was also attacked, Scotland Yard said.

White paint on a memorial to murdered police officer Yvonne Fletcher
White paint on a memorial to murdered police officer Yvonne Fletcher

Detectives think the first act of criminal damage happened at the Bomber Command memorial, before the suspect walked along The Mall toward Trafalgar Square.

He would then have passed Canada House, walking in the direction of St James’s Square, before ending on Jermyn Street, the Metropolitan Police believe.

The vandalised Bomber Command Memorial
The vandalised Bomber Command Memorial

Detective Inspector David Watkinson, leading investigation, said he wants the public to “think carefully about whether they can identify” the suspect and his distinct walking style.

He said: “We have exhausted all operational lines of inquiry and have now released this footage as part of our sustained effort to identify the person responsible for this wanton vandalism.

“The route we believe was taken by the suspect is usually very busy and they are likely to have been seen by a number of people.

“If you were travelling on public transport and remember seeing someone with white paint on their clothes, please call us. It isn’t too late to share information.

“People have had a strong reaction to the damage caused to these important memorials which are part of our culture and heritage.”

The vandalised figures of Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill
The vandalised figures of Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill

Britain’s last surviving Dambuster previously slammed the “mindless vandalism” of the Bomber Command Memorial.

George “Johnny” Johnson, 97, said: “What a disgrace, such mindless vandalism.

“How disrespectful to the nearly 58,000 people who gave their lives so that these thugs have the freedom to carry out such acts? I hope they are caught soon, and suitably punished.”