Graffiti vandal forced to clean UB40 tribute as passers by applaud

A graffiti tagger was left red-faced after being ordered to clean up a UB40 mural with 'hot soapy water' only moments after defacing the tribute. The vandal was caught in the act by wardens at Westside BID at around 10.30pm on Saturday, June 22.

The BID said he was spotted "spraying his messy signatures" on the UB40 wall in Broad Street - which pays tribute to local pop stars. Wardens quickly alerted West Midlands Police before following the tagger until officers arrived.

Officers on patrol initially detained the vandal. However, after consideration, they decided the best punishment would be a "dose of immediate restorative justice".

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Faced with arrest and potential criminal damage charges, the tagger agreed to clean up his scribbles instead. He was provided with a bucket of hot soapy water and cloths from nearby venues.

The police and wardens watched on as he spent an hour cleaning his tags - much to the delight of passers-by who congratulated both the wardens and the police. Pete Willis, warden manager for Westside BID, said: “People work hard to keep Broad Street looking smart, and it is always disheartening to see graffiti taggers making a mess of things.

"When we saw this tagging take place we were therefore determined to follow the man involved and to bring his actions to the attention of the police. Getting him to agree to clean up his mess was a great result as this instant community resolution will hopefully get the message out there that we are not putting up with this kind of vandalism here on Westside.

"We also had many comments from passers by saying it was great to see this swift restorative justice taking place.” Chief Inspector Gary Everitt, who leads police operations in Birmingham city centre, welcomed the restorative justice.

He said: “This was a great example of the strong partnership we have with Westside’s wardens, and I was pleased to see this swift and appropriate result. Well done to all involved.”