Teenager responsible for 80 per cent of graffiti in Durham did it because he loved his city

Example of teenager's graffiti

Example of teenager's graffiti

First published in News by

A TEENAGER once responsible for 80 per cent of the graffiti in Durham said he did it because he loved his city.

The 15-year-old, who did not want to be named, was the subject of a long police investigation after daubing his ‘tag’ repeatedly across the historic city.

Following his arrest, the rate of new graffiti in the city dropped by 80 per cent.

He said: “People thought I was trying to ruin the city but I absolutely love Durham. It’s my city and by doing the graffiti, I felt like I was making Durham part of myself and I was part of it.

“I thought, in 20 years or more, there’ll still be part of me here.”

He was eventually caught in October and dealt with using a restorative approach, which allows offenders to attempt to make amends with those they have harmed.

As part of his punishment, the teen has spent time cleaning graffiti and litter picking around the city and has met with the man whose job it was to clean up the damage he caused.

With the guidance of police officers, he also prepared a presentation about his crimes and subsequent arrest that will be shown at schools.

He appeared at the Safer Durham Partnership’s Restorative Approaches conference recently, where he staged his presentation and spoke about how the process has changed his life for the better.

He said: “I didn’t realise you could get arrested and badly punished for graffiti and I didn’t realise how much it cost to clean or how many people it affected.

“Through this kind of punishment, I learned what I’d really done and how it wasn’t worth doing.

“Getting arrested was horrible, I made an absolute fool of myself and embarrassed my family.

"The worst part about it was being in a cell.  It was awful and not somewhere I ever wanted to be or ever want to be again."

He added: “If you are tempted to do anything like this, really think about what it’s going to do to your life - getting arrested could ruin everything.

“Think like an adult and think about how your actions could affect you and others.”

Comments (9)

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12:37pm Wed 22 Jan 14

D. Hop says...

You should have stencilled it mate in a lame attempt to copy someone else. Then you'd probably have gotten away with it!!!
You should have stencilled it mate in a lame attempt to copy someone else. Then you'd probably have gotten away with it!!! D. Hop
  • Score: -7

2:38pm Wed 22 Jan 14

David Lacey says...

Is that meant to be a clever comment? This twerp has defaced dozens of buildings, bridges, walls etc. He seems to have learned the error of his ways. Personally I'd like to have seen him get six strokes of the birch as a constant reminder.
Is that meant to be a clever comment? This twerp has defaced dozens of buildings, bridges, walls etc. He seems to have learned the error of his ways. Personally I'd like to have seen him get six strokes of the birch as a constant reminder. David Lacey
  • Score: 2

4:28pm Wed 22 Jan 14

settheworldonfire says...

David Lacey wrote:
Is that meant to be a clever comment? This twerp has defaced dozens of buildings, bridges, walls etc. He seems to have learned the error of his ways. Personally I'd like to have seen him get six strokes of the birch as a constant reminder.
so has that muppet Banksy......
[quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: Is that meant to be a clever comment? This twerp has defaced dozens of buildings, bridges, walls etc. He seems to have learned the error of his ways. Personally I'd like to have seen him get six strokes of the birch as a constant reminder.[/p][/quote]so has that muppet Banksy...... settheworldonfire
  • Score: 4

4:40pm Wed 22 Jan 14

D. Hop says...

It was sarcasm referring to a recent incident in Darlington. Where a Banksy wannabe has been applauded for basically doing the same thing. http://www.thenorthe
rnecho.co.uk/news/10
839137.Identity_of_D
arlington_stencil_gr
affiti_artist_reveal
ed/
I agree its all vandalism, its all illegal, and all should be punished equally. But its a strange society we live in, and for some reason there are massive double standards.
It was sarcasm referring to a recent incident in Darlington. Where a Banksy wannabe has been applauded for basically doing the same thing. http://www.thenorthe rnecho.co.uk/news/10 839137.Identity_of_D arlington_stencil_gr affiti_artist_reveal ed/ I agree its all vandalism, its all illegal, and all should be punished equally. But its a strange society we live in, and for some reason there are massive double standards. D. Hop
  • Score: 5

5:23pm Wed 22 Jan 14

cushybutterfield says...

Spot on David Lacel. Some of the morons on ths site do not realise that this vandalsing ***Criminal Grafittie***** and this is what it is (often given daft fancy-words) costs the 'British Working Taxpayers' untold MILLIONS.. This pathetic maladjusted retarded grafittie- craze came from moronic New York (Well what do you expect ?), it has plenty of pig idle clowns and twerps there who have not done 'one jot' in their brainwashed lives to help or do anything positive for the local or world enviroment. If you see any *****PHOTOGRAPH and RECORD all *****Logos*** and ***Scrawl etc*****, and submit them to the local Police and claim (anonymously) a ***BIG REWARD. *****Keep them eyes peeled.......and yes I agree David,....all offenders, should be publically birched, finderprint-ed and photographed for all to see.
Spot on David Lacel. Some of the morons on ths site do not realise that this vandalsing ***Criminal Grafittie***** and this is what it is (often given daft fancy-words) costs the 'British Working Taxpayers' untold MILLIONS.. This pathetic maladjusted retarded grafittie- craze came from moronic New York (Well what do you expect ?), it has plenty of pig idle clowns and twerps there who have not done 'one jot' in their brainwashed lives to help or do anything positive for the local or world enviroment. If you see any *****PHOTOGRAPH and RECORD all *****Logos*** and ***Scrawl etc*****, and submit them to the local Police and claim (anonymously) a ***BIG REWARD. *****Keep them eyes peeled.......and yes I agree David,....all offenders, should be publically birched, finderprint-ed and photographed for all to see. cushybutterfield
  • Score: -2

5:31pm Wed 22 Jan 14

cushybutterfield says...

Criminal Grafittie, turned many British Cities and Towns into a blighted-Bierut lookalike. The filthy, horrible, disgusting, appalling, ...****BLIGHT OF BRITAIN. Another negative result of the *** British Workshy Nanny State*** ***liberal*** minded political backed, 'Do Gooder',... culture which has help ruin our country.
Criminal Grafittie, turned many British Cities and Towns into a blighted-Bierut lookalike. The filthy, horrible, disgusting, appalling, ...****BLIGHT OF BRITAIN. Another negative result of the *** British Workshy Nanny State*** ***liberal*** minded political backed, 'Do Gooder',... culture which has help ruin our country. cushybutterfield
  • Score: 1

5:36pm Wed 22 Jan 14

st-george1 says...

A*sehole … a foolish , irritating and contemptible illiterate person with little or no social skills it seems ...
A*sehole … a foolish , irritating and contemptible illiterate person with little or no social skills it seems ... st-george1
  • Score: 2

11:31pm Wed 22 Jan 14

The Love Slug says...

well cushy, i'd have to admit that even though the graffiti is vandalism it is still easier and more pleasurable to read than your trash.
well cushy, i'd have to admit that even though the graffiti is vandalism it is still easier and more pleasurable to read than your trash. The Love Slug
  • Score: 3

12:45am Thu 23 Jan 14

CLEVELANDPC says...

I am not speculating on the sexual fetishes of anyone on this thread but the way some of these comments are written, one would think some had feelings of "gratification" at the thought of whipping nubile teenagers !
I am not speculating on the sexual fetishes of anyone on this thread but the way some of these comments are written, one would think some had feelings of "gratification" at the thought of whipping nubile teenagers ! CLEVELANDPC
  • Score: 2

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