Graffiti artist banned from all Olympic sites


A professional graffiti artist has been ordered not to go within a mile of any Games site for more than three months after being arrested over years-old allegations just ten days before the Opening Ceremony. Police were forced to deny using the years-old criminal allegations as a ploy to keep the Olympics free from troublemakers.

Darren Cullen, who runs a business creating legal graffiti works, was one of four graffiti artists arrested by British Transport Police yesterday over allegations of criminal damage, some of which date back to 2007. The groups' bail conditions contain an order relating to every Olympic site.

But, speaking to The Independent, he insisted he has never been involved in any illegal graffiti and questioned the motive behind the controversial stipulation.

He said he did not know any of the other people arrested yesterday. But he added that he has heard of "a few" contemporaries who he believed were arrested on suspicion of similar offences and being given the same bail conditions.

"When I was arrested, I asked if this was linked to the Games and the officer smiled," he said. He added that he has been arrested over his involvement with graffiti gangs before but has never been convicted. "I used to associate with people who did illegal graffiti, but I did not do it myself," he said.

"When they told me what I was being arrested for, I was confused. They told me that the questions they wanted to ask me were related to a website on the history of graffiti art I created for some clients," said Mr Cullen, whose graffiti name is "Ser".

But, while British Transport Police admitted the bail condition relating to the Games was inserted "to protect the integrity" of the Olympics, a source insisted that the arrests were part of a long-term investigation and their timing was coincidental. "The arrests would have been made regardless of when the Olympics were due to happen," he said.

Reports began to surface earlier today on the graffiti website The London Vandal that up to 30 artists were arrested yesterday morning as part of a major operation by police. But British Transport Police contradicted that figure, saying that only four men were arrested.

A spokesman confirmed that a 38-year-old and a 25-year-old from Kent, an 18-year-old from London and a 32-year-old from Surrey were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

He added: "This was in connection with a live and ongoing criminal investigation into linked incidents of criminal damage committed between January 2007 and July 2012. Two of the men were also further arrested on suspicion of inciting criminal damage," said the spokesman. All four were taken into custody at Victoria train station in central London and bailed until November.

The document, seen by The Independent, orders them not to use the railways, the Tubes or any trams. It also bans them from possessing any spray paint, marker pens, or similar and from communicating with each other.

And the Olympics clause orders them not to go within "a mile of any Olympic venue in London or elsewhere in England".

Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May


Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’

North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama


Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year


Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before