This is the first picture of the vandal who splashed white paint on memorials to Britain’s war dead and a tribute to murdered policewoman Yvonne Fletcher.
The suspect, wearing ski goggles and a mask, was caught on camera desecrating the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, built to remember the 55,000 airmen killed during the Second World War.
The wanted man appears to have been acting alone and went on a one-man crime spree where he then threw paint on the nearby Canada Memorial, the ‘Allies Statue’ of Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt in New Bond Street, The Royal Marine Memorial in The Mall and finally the Yvonne Fletcher memorial in St James’s Square.
Scotland Yard released the image four days after the 12-hour vandalism spree infuriated veterans and upset relatives of the dead.
Officers are appealing to the public to help find him and believe someone will know the man, or would have spotted him, as he would have been covered in white paint.
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.
This is the first picture of the vandal wanted for desecrating war memorials all over central London in a 12-hour spree
Specialist clean-up workers use high pressure steam to clean the paint vandals squirted over the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park
‘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?
‘I would urge anyone with information to come forward and speak with us.’
Three war memorials and a statue in West London were splattered and smeared with white paint in what some believe was a co-ordinated ‘peace’ protest.
The memorial to PC Yvonne Fletcher, who was killed outside in the Libyan embassy in 1984, was covered in paint, in St James Park, in central London.
Cleaners have begun power-washing war memorials and statues that were covered in paint by the ‘mindless’ vandals.
The worst effected was the Royal Air Force bombers command memorial in Green Park, West London, which was targeted by the individuals who hurled a large amount of white gloss paint over the historic statue on Sunday night.
The shrine in memory of PC Yvonne Fletcher, who was murdered outside the Libyan Embassy in 1984, is thought to be the latest memorial to be targeted by vandals with white paint. Pictured: Stock image of the memorial in St James Square in central London
The memorial features seven air crew and was built to commemorate the sacrifice of 55,573 airmen who lost their lives serving in Bomber Command during the Second World War
A similar vandalism also occurred over the weekend to The Allies Statue of Winston Churchill in Franklin D. Roosevelt on close by New Bond Street
White paint has been hurled across the Canada Memorial, which commemorates all Canadians killed during the First and Second World Wars
The Graspan Royal Marines Memorial in The Mall, erected in memory of all the troops who have died in conflict, was also daubed with white paint last night
Resolute RAF members have vowed not to put a protective fence around the memorial, insisting it will remain a monument ‘for the people’.
David Murray, Air Vice-Marshal at the Royal Air Force Benevolent fund, who maintain the monument said: ‘I wasn’t so much angry but disappointed at the distress that’s been caused to the veterans, their families and the wider British public.
‘We’ve got people in this country who think it’s clever to wonder round in the early hours of this morning throwing paint around. It’s not about the monument itself it’s about what it represents.
‘It represents 55,000 men who died to give us freedom and if that’s the way that some people think we should treat them then there’s something wrong.
‘We know it happened overnight or early morning, it would have been dark. It’s the fourth time it’s happened in six years. On at least two occasions previously the culprit was taken to court and punished.
‘We don’t know timings yet but what we’re focusing on at the moment is getting the specialist cleaning team in to get the mural sorted out.
‘We look after 55,000 veterans a year from the RAF family.
‘I’ve been hearing from gentlemen this morning who are in their nineties and were in bomber command. They remember their mates who died and the freedom they gave us.
‘They are devastated by this – it’s a complete lack of respect.’
The £7million war memorial has been targeted by vandals four times since it was unveiled by the Queen in June 2012.
David Murray, Air Vice-Marshal at the Royal Air Force Benevolent fund, who maintain the monument said: ‘I wasn’t so much angry but disappointed at the distress that’s been caused to the veterans and their families’
White paint thrown over the Bomber Command War Memorial in Green Park, London
But the RAF has vowed not to let vandals ruin the statue for others.
Mr Murray said: ‘We will not be putting up a fence, no way. This was built for the people by the people and will remain that way. It’s a lot worse than the other times, it’s a lot of paint that’s been thrown around.
‘Previously there were words written and so on, this is just wanton vandalism. The clean-up will be in the thousands this time, we spend about £40,000 a year maintaining the monument.
‘We are a charity and have to raise the money to maintain it but this is about respect. We don’t know if it is related to the other two statues that have been vandalised this weekend.
‘Others can make their mind up about that, one for the police to sort out.’
Police are investigating CCTV from the memorial and surrounding area.
A similar vandalism also occurred over the weekend to The Allies Statue of Winston Churchill in Franklin D. Roosevelt on close by New Bond Street, and they are also set to be cleaned today.
Canada Memorial in Green Park, which remembers the Canadian Forces who died in the first and second world wars was also damaged with paint over the weekend.
The Royal Marines Memorial in The Mall was left with a smear of white paint over the names of the dead.