Banksy Arrested In London, Identity Revealed

Banksy arrested and identity revealed

London Police Chief Wayne Leppard speaking to reporters about the arrest of Banksy.

London, England — The England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter that for years has gone by the pseudonymous name of Banksy, was arrested early this morning by police in London. After hours of questioning and a raid of his London art studio, his true name and identity have finally been revealed.

The City of London Police say Banksy’s real name is Paul William Horner, a 39-year old male born in Bristol, England. The BBC has also confirmed this information with his PR agent Jo Brooks and the website that acts as a handling service on behalf of the artist, Pest Control.

London Police Chief Wayne Leppard held a press conference to answer questions about how Banksy was finally apprehended. “We had a 24-hour Anti-Graffiti Task Force monitoring different groups known to have associated with Banksy. We received word that around 2am a group of individuals left a flat speculated to be one of Banky’s art studios. This group was followed by agents and once vandalism had occurred, we then arrested the group, 5 men total. These individuals all had ID on them except for one, and that is the one we believed to be Banksy,” Leppard said. “We then raided the studio where this group was last seen leaving from. Inside we found thousands of dollars of counterfeit money along with future projects of vandalism. We also found a passport and ID of a Paul William Horner who matched the description of the man that we are currently holding.” Leppard continued, “Horner is currently being held without bail on charges of vandalism, conspiracy, racketeering and counterfeiting. We are also holding the other four individuals whose names we are not releasing at this time.”

After today’s arrest it is unclear who else will be sought in connection with Banksy’s arrest. CNN spoke with Kyle Brock who is a project manager for Banksy says he is now worried that charges could be brought against him also. “If they spent this many man-hours and brought this many charges against Banksy, I can’t imagine that he’ll be the only one to go down in all of this,” Brock said. “All the beauty Paul Horner brought to this world, and the London Police can only see it as vandalism. It’s such a shame.”

The graffiti artist that goes by the name Space Invader told reporters he does not agree with the arrest or outing of Banksy’s identity. “He’s just doing art. That’s what he was doing and that’s what he’ll continue to do,” Invader said. “For the London Police to setup some 24-hour task force just to catch Banksy is ridiculous. I hope we hear plenty of noise from the good tax-paying citizens of London about this.”

Banksy’s identity was long speculated to be Robin Gunningham, a man born in Bristol, England in 1973. Known for his contempt for the government in labeling graffiti as vandalism, Banksy displays his art on public walls and even going as far as to build physical prop pieces. He does not sell his work directly; however, art auctioneers have been known to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder.

As soon as news of the arrest was made, the City of London Police say they began receiving dozens of phone calls from people either claiming to be Banksy, or claiming to be with him. As of 6 PM London time, hundreds of people were gathered outside the London Police Department chanting “I’m Banksy!” and holding signs demanding his release. Various local news stations have reported witnessing the crowd parting for a blind woman who attempted to turn herself into authorities claiming that she was in fact the real Banksy.

London Police say they are not releasing any pictures of Horner or any further information at this time.


I am Banksy! Help the cause! Get “I’m Banksy!” decoy hoodies, shirts, stickers, and more, click here!

[Updated 02-24-13] Banksy’s arrest in London has been outed as a hoax perpetrated by none other than actor Christopher Walken, click here.


  1. This is so f*cked up…. what a waste of time just to stop some amazing artist from doing more amazing artwork

  2. What a bunch of wankers!

  3. This is total bollocks… ain’t they got nothing better to do?

  4. Wow, with Banksy in jail this will drive up the price of his artwork I would imagine

  5. I hope Banksy is ok :(

  6. I’M BANKSY!

  7. I hope they lock him up in solitary for 1,000 years!

  8. Marvin Edwards says:

    I am Banksy!


  10. Seriously guys, I’m Banksy.

  11. I wonder if counterfit cash was found or they wanted a good excuse to lock him up for a while.

    • he’s made fake money for art in the past

    • dudefoot (",) says:

      yes, he had a big box of counterfeit £10 notes in his studio with the queen replaced with another figure, he was going to throw it from a tall building into a crowded area but never went through with it which is why it was still in his studio, £100,000 worth, i know this to be true.

      • Bono Irish says:

        Yes, you know this to be true simply because you’ve watched the documentary “Exit Through The Gift Shop”.

    • That was exactly my thought.

  12. I’m banksy!

  13. I’m Banksy!

  14. I'm Banksy! says:

  15. Darius Rubics says:


  16. I am Banksy!

  17. NO! I’M BANKSY!

  18. He inspires an old buddy in an ancient school.
    He inspires me for personnal artwork.
    Bansky gonna inspire me for my room soon.

    My room gonna be 20% cooler.

  19. Eric "Banksy" Schultz says:

    Complete bollocks. Nice way to spend tax payer’s money London – I guess they don’t have any other crimes to worry about…

  20. I'M BANKSY! says:


  21. danny hayes says:


  22. I’m Banksy!

  23. Help the cause! Get “I’m Banksy” decoy hoodies, shirts, stickers, and undies (I hope I’m Banksy. I’m wearing his underwear)

  24. Well since his art is selling for tons he can just buy his way out of this easily right ?

  25. Too many police in England, give Banksy a break, send the police to help people in India or Africa.
    I´m Bansky too !!!!!

  26. I’M BANKSY!

  27. I’m not Banksy, but I am thrilled that so many people are upset by this news that has just broken on…super official Excellent reporting by the way, keep up the fine work!

  28. dodit artawan says:

    the rebel sell.. that’s good for banksy carrier.. be more famous n expensive

  29. I'm Banksy! says:
  30. OMFG!! LOL lolololl Business Insider called London’s Metropolitan Police and asked if Banksy was being held there HAHAHAHAHAHAH!

    Well, f*cking, done sirs!

  31. The Real Banksy says:

    I’m Banksy, and so is my wife!

  32. FCK U PINTOR says:

    Great! arrest all of these assholes ruining the paint and buildings repaired with my tax money. FCK them all. They all should go to jail pick them and put them where they can not longer see the sun.

    • You are a dick head , and we fuck you I hope your walls will be painted ! Plus , peoples are paying for Banksy paints, He even attract peoples in districts where he paint! We can’t imprison the Da Vinci of street art! He is part of what’s make Uk an original country!

  33. What about all the freaking real criminals out there? There are never enough police to answer real calls of violence and crime…and they put a freaking artist in jail…

  34. louise smith says:


  35. What a waste of taxpayers money. Wouldn’t it be better spent fighting the war against drugs or violence ? What harm has this man done except produce beautiful thought provoking artwork? The counterfeit money thing has either been planted or its part if his art and not actual real counterfeit cash.

    Doesn’t anyone think its strange that a political activist is arrested the same day as Britain’s’ credit rating has fallen??? Coincidence? Very strange one if so….

  36. Ben du Toit says:

    What a waste of funding to get an amazing artist.. His art makes the surrounding pleasant. Should employ him to graffiti over the rest of the crap stuff

  37. I’m Banksy!

  38. billy bob jo says:

    Get a fucking grip u lot

  39. I’m Banksy!

  40. I’m banksy!

  41. i´m banksy!

  42. get real morons says:

    If I come paint pictures all over your house without your permission, is that art? No, it’s vandalism. If you want to be an artist, buy canvases like everyone else.

  43. I AM BANKSY!

  44. the real banksy says:

    I hope you guys know this is fake, I have not been arrested.

  45. Igor Sketch says:

    This is just another move by the dead heads to crush anything good and free. People need to work out what side they’re on and if they’re on the side of beauty and freedom they need to start fighting back. There are simply not enough heros like Banksy to do it for you.

  46. I’m Banksy!

  47. There is no banksy. fuckheads.

  48. Banksy in America says:

    I’m Banksy and I live in Ft. Worth TEXAS!!! Come and get me you WANKERS!

  49. RabbitwithFangs says:

    I’m Banksy!

  50. you arrested the wrong man. I am Banksy!!!

  51. I’m Banksy!

  52. Since when did the old bill refer to themselves as agents? Racketeering? This sounds like some dozy American twonk has made this up!
    banksy is not the “da Vinci” of street art!!
    If it is true and he has been caught I’m glad as maybe it will give some of the spotlight back to other real talented artists out there!
    Open your eyes people there are far more talented artists in every genre!
    He’s had 12/13 yrs without many people realising his true identity! IMO that’s the best thing he’s managed!

  53. boshcobanksy says:

    They should spend there time busting criminals that have a negative effect on people not a harmlessharmlessartist, he never hurt anyone

  54. it must be true……………

  55. I’m Banksy!

  56. Goran Denic says:

    Arrest the police.

  57. Patrick Baele says:

    voila; LONDON de “culturele” hoofdstad van de wereld ! Proficiat bende debielen….

  58. What a bunch of BANKERS!

  59. This guy just became a world hero thanks to the police hows that piss poor public image going for you guys cause it just got poorer

  60. I’m Banksy. Arrest the Bankers.

  61. What’s so special about Bansky, he’s just one of a million stencil artists out there.
    We don’t hear you cry when some hardcore trainwriter is caught. He can probably pay for all the damage and still have a lot of money left in contrary of all those guys caught tagging or doing pieces who have to pay for the rest of there lives. I don’t see myself as an artist but just a graffiti writer and so is Bansky, just in another form.
    Getting caught is just one of the risks of our hobby.
    For all you guys voting for Bansky: get a live!
    For everyone against Bansky: open your eyes, there are a lot worse things to worry about!

  62. What about a 24-hour Anti-RapeTask Force, wouldn’t that be more justified? Wtf people.

  63. Banksy is a fucking genius. The police wanted him cos he takes the fucking piss right out of them. GOOD! His arrest just makes them look like a bigger bunch of tossers than they already are!! Well done Met, you have no public support and wasting our money arresting a world renown artist is about the dumbest thing you could do. Banksy was right. You are a bunch of twats. Ps. IM BANKSY!!!!!

  64. I’m Banksy!

  65. hope you feel happy now, London police force, cunts.

  66. It’s so annoying that I need to pay my tax for a police like this. Shame on you morons

  67. I’m Bansky!

  68. bout time some one got that toy off the streets , fucking stencil artists you dont no shit about real graffiti

  69. World Dom forever baby. Team Robbo!

  70. banksy is not a graffiti writer, graffiti writers go to prison.

    banksy aplied his ripped off stencils to property illegally, without permission, which is breaking the law.

    so in the eyes of the law he should be prosecuted, in the same way as a prolific graffiti writer would would be prosecuted and no doubt jailed for there actions.

    just because he had been lucky enough to make money from his ripped off shitty paintings does not mean he is immune from prosecution.

    he has illegally applied his paints to walls around London and other areas for ages, yet he is apply applauded for this but graffiti writers do the same, applying the names to surfaces are branded evil scum vandals etc!!

    I for one hope he gets the book thrown at his over hyped person and gets banged up for a lengthy sentance just as the graffiti writers in the UK do, after all he lets the media and the public brand him as one for his own purposes, so why should the law be any different for him?

  71. just sayin

  72. I’m Banksy!

  73. I AM BANSKY!


  74. I’M BANKSY!!!!!

  75. I’m Banksy!

  76. mudskipper says:

    Conspiracy? Isn’t that the one where you can be punished without limit or rationality? Tantamount to terrorism? Or maybe I’ve misunderstood.

  77. Don’t hate on me but I’m a British frontline cop. I support Banksys work all the way. He’s done more good for society than most MPs. Banksy is the one who inspired me to love art, better than any art teacher. Banksy has brought invaluable culture to so many places. Banksy has raised a ton of money for various charities, incliding Oxfam. He’s more of a human than those selfish bank bosses will ever be. Banksy, whether prosecuted or not, deserves some due recognition, like a royal OBE.

  78. nubwaxer says:

    what a bunch of asshat law enforcement wasting time that could be used for, oh i don’t knbow, maybe catching terrorists or crooks. but artists don’t carry weapons so they are easy targets like the poor.
    congratulations. and by the way, you’ve made him even more or a hero and given him worldwide publicity–not that he needs it. i hope this blows up in the cops’ faces and the rest of the government as well.

  79. aristos says:

    While they’re at it, maybe they’ll take action against all the advertising billboard businesses which don’t provide a fraction of the food for thought of a Banksy piece.
    As if !

  80. aristos says:

    Oh; and Gareth; please take a literacy course (at the very least) before parading your vitriolic garbage on the internet

  81. People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

    You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.

    Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

    You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.

  82. Banksy fan says:

    Banksy’s real name is Paul Horner? wow… he’s a badass

  83. I love Banksy… so sad they arrested him :(

  84. So the police spent all that money, time and resources trying to track an artist down…. think they need to think about their priorities.

  85. Is Banksy even real. What a genius


  1. […] this year, a fake press release stating that Banksy had been arrested by British Police and that his real name is Paul William […]

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