Second arrest after Banksy Street art removal

Banksy's latest artwork in Peckham Credit: Credit: PA

A second man has been arrested on suspicion of theft and criminal damage after a Banksy installation was removed from a pole in south-east London, the Metropolitan Police said.

The piece of street art – a traffic stop sign covered with three aircraft resembling military drones – was revealed at the intersection of Southampton Way and Commercial Way in Peckham, south-east London at midday on Friday.

However, less than an hour after Banksy confirmed it was genuine by posting a photo of it on social media, witnesses saw the artwork being removed by a man with bolt cutters.

On Saturday, a man in his 20s was arrested on suspicion of theft and criminal damage and later released on bail as the force conducts further inquiries until a date in mid-March.

A man in his 40s was arrested on the same charges on Sunday and remains in police custody. A regular stop sign has since been installed to avoid endangering road users at the intersection, police confirmed.

A spokesperson added: "This incident is currently being investigated by officers from the Met's central south CID.

"We are aware of footage being shared which shows the sign being removed.

"Anyone who may have information about the incident or the whereabouts of the sign is asked to call police."

Meanwhile, Southwark council have called for the artwork to be returned.

Councillor Jasmine Ali, Deputy Leader of Southwark Council, said: “Of course Banksy picked Peckham, it’s already on the map when it comes to art and is a hotbed for creativity.

"It should not have been removed and we'd like it back so everyone in the community can enjoy Banksy’s brilliant work. We have reported the removal of our sign to the police to help get it back."