Police hunt man in ski goggles after paint thrown at memorials | UK News
A man in ski goggles is being hunted by police after white paint was thrown on a number of memorials around central London.
White paint was found splattered over the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, Piccadilly, on Sunday.
A day later, similar damage was discovered at the Allies Statue of Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt in New Bond Street, the Canada Memorial in Green Park, The Royal Marine Memorial in The Mall and the memorial to murdered police officer Yvonne Fletcher in St James’s Square.
White paint was also found on a shop window in Old Bond Street.
Police have now released CCTV footage of a man wearing ski goggles and carrying a plastic bag and say they want to speak to him about the incidents.
Detective Inspector Dave Watkinson said: “I am hopeful that due to this person’s odd appearance, someone may remember seeing them making their way to or from the statues. As a result of the damage caused, the suspect would have left the scenes covered in white paint.”
Police are linking the incidents of damage and have traced the suspect’s route through London, believing him to have started at the Bomber Command memorial before heading along the Mall towards Trafalgar Square.
Officers think he passed Canada House in the direction of St James’s Square, before ending on Jermyn Street.
DI Watkinson added: “This wanton vandalism continues to illicit a strong response from the community. We have carried out an extensive review of local CCTV and are now satisfied that the person in the images released today is responsible for the damage. We are appealing for the media and public’s help to identify this person.
“While it is not possible to identify the person’s face, someone may recognise their clothing.
“The route we believe they took is usually very busy – especially Trafalgar Square – and they are likely to have been seen by a number of people. Did you see this person walking between statues? Were you travelling on public transport and remember seeing someone with white paint on their clothes?”
It is the fourth time the Bomber Command Memorial has been vandalised since it was unveiled by the Queen in 2012.
The memorial, which is maintained by the RAF Benevolent Fund, commemorates more than 55,500 members of the Bomber Command who died in the Second World War.
Crews came from across the globe – from the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and all corners of the Commonwealth, as well as from occupied nations including Poland, France and Czechoslovakia.
Of the 125,000 aircrew who served, 72% were killed, seriously injured or taken as prisoners of war.
More than 44% were killed whilst serving – the highest rate of attrition of any allied unit. Each man was a volunteer, and their average age of death was only 23.
The RAF Benevolent Fund estimates the repairs could cost thousands of pounds.
:: Anyone who has information can call the incident room on 020 7321 8210 and speak to a detective.
Alternatively, call 101 quoting CAD reference 6493/20JAN, tweet @MetCC, report information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.