An alleged graffiti vandal linked with more than £500,000 worth of damage to trains and stations in London was arrested on Boxing Day.

The arrest occurred during an ongoing operation dedicated to tackling graffiti on the railway over the winter period named Operation Sirius.

British Transport Police officers are patrolling stations and routes throughout London and the surrounding counties and have arrested nine so far.

Early on Boxing Day morning, the 24-year-old man from East Sussex was spotted alongside two other people daubing graffiti at Arsenal Underground station.

The tags they sprayed on the station walls were linked to an ongoing operation that is investigating years’ worth of graffiti damage to the railway

The damage has totalled to more than £500,000 and has impacted train operators across London and the South East.

The man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, assaulting an emergency worker during the arrest and trespass – the two other suspects fled the scene.

He has since been released on bail with orders preventing him from using the railway and carrying spray paint cans.

Operation Sirius began at the start of December. It is dedicated to tackling graffiti through increased patrols and quick deployments to reports of vandalism.

Arrests during the operation also included four people arrested on Christmas Eve on the line near Ilford station after reports of suspects tagging railway property.

BTP Chief Inspector Stuart Middlemas said: “Tackling vandalism on the railway is very important. It stops trains being taken out of service to be cleaned, ensuring more services are available to passengers, but most importantly it protects the people who decide to trespass on the tracks to commit such vandalism.

“It’s well known that the railway is incredibly dangerous, and trespassing can easily result in loss of life or life-changing injuries. Operations like Sirius are dedicated to preventing this.”

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