Graffiti teens escape with reprimand

PUBLISHED: 16:12 12 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

POLICE took nearly seven weeks to arrest two teenagers who put films of themselves spraying graffiti in St Albans on the internet - only then to release them with a reprimand. Herts Police were sent links to the films by an angry resident of the Napsbury

POLICE took nearly seven weeks to arrest two teenagers who put films of themselves spraying graffiti in St Albans on the internet - only then to release them with a reprimand.

Herts Police were sent links to the films by an angry resident of the Napsbury Park Estate in London Colney in April. Teenagers had filmed each other spraying "DXJ" graffiti tags around the estate and in St Albans and posted the videos on the internet site YouTube.

The footage captured the youngsters spraying graffiti around Verulaminum Park and at one point a boy defecates in the River Ver while his friends laugh and film it.

Residents of the estate were certain they knew the identity of one of the people in the video was and told the police.

It followed a "DXJ" graffiti tag appearing on the white-washed walls of the estate's six-month-old sports pavilion.

When questioned why it was taking so long to arrest the culprits, Herts Police said they needed time to download the videos and identify the people in them.

Yesterday (Wednesday) a Herts Police spokesperson said a 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old youth from St Albans had been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage and were both released with a reprimand which is a youth caution.

He explained the severity of the punishment they could give depended on the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines and the culprits' age was taken into account.

Herts Police had no initiatives to get vandals to clean up their own graffiti, he added.

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