Monday, 12 July 2010

Its a Fair Cop - LSD & Thames River Police in Hackney Wick

Weather forecasts predicted much rain today (Monday so i decided to cycle up to Hackney Wick to shoot some new Paste Up posters i spotted a day before. While in the area i thought i may as well check all the other hot spots in the manor for new art works. Im cycling up and down, round and round taking shots until i noticed two policemen parking their Land Rover on the Olympic Bridge. At that moment i was on my way to the other-side of the canal so i could shoot some new stuff there. I passed the police and cycled round to the spot i wanted to snap. While shooting it suddenly dawned on me that the cops may well be the same chaps arresting artists in the area for painting walls. I decided to look if they were heading down to The Wall by the canal as thats where artists have come unstuck.

I arrived at the The Wall noticing the cops had indeed already walked passed it. I dumped my bike and went for my camera in the hope i could snap them and discuss it on our blog. Alas as pointing the camera at their backs they turned round and spotted my high res jacket!!! I didnt snap them but continued shooting The Wall though i noticed they'd turned back and heading in my direction. I thought they defiantly gonna think I'm here to paint the wall and they may even wish to search my bag. Now it should noted i have MAJOR issues about being stopped and searched in the street, its takes us back to the dark days of the SUSS Laws of the early eighties and European Courts have deemed the UK's use of CCTV / Stop n Search as illegal and fined the UK heavily. Tax Payers absorb the fine but the bylaw still stands. So Im thinking if they want to search me i will outright refuse on Common Law grounds then Im thinking its Monday and i got LSD deadlines and if i take that stance Im going to the police station. It was a quick decision, I'll stand my ground.

Snapping away awaiting to hear that authoritarian voice. The policemen were wearing Navy Blue uniforms and not the normal Metropolitan Police attire. A gentle voice says 'hello'  and the Peace Officers comment on what great artwork is painted on the wall. They told me not too worry they don't care if Im here painting or taking photographs. They complimented the artists saying how it does no harm to anyone and they thought it was a waste of time going after them. I told them a few artists had been arrested there last month and they were really surprised. They said they not heard anything but not been in the area for months anyway. Last time they were here the boss wanted them to find Sweet Toof but they dismissed it!!! The reason for them being there is too check the houseboats and not arrest artists as i first thought. As long as it wasn't personal property they didn't see the harm…

It appears some artists are taking the chance of painting The Wall since news broke of the arrests though the entire wall hasn't been redecorated for at least six weeks. As far as The Wall is concerned is now or never because as the Olympics draws closer the area will be on FULL ARMED LOCK DOWN…


  1. I guess there's no irony to be drawn from the fact that extra attention is be due to the Olympic site, an event whose very icon is some big design agency's interpretation of graffiti culture?

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  3. Doh...

    Sad days... Parkland Walk now illegal:

    I got asked a few questions just for taking photos...

    & worse, Tufnell Park gone:

    I don't know what they expect, surely will just breed resentment...