Skip to content

PRSC Chairman Arrested. Chris Chalkley Accused of Criminal Damage. In Court on 9th October 9.15am.

October 1, 2009

PRSC chairman, Chris Chalkley was arrested by two plain clothes police officers on 24th September, and was charged with the following;

“That between 28/08/09 and 01/01/09 at St. James Barton roundabout in the City of Bristol without lawful excuse damaged 5102 Appartments to the value of between £150 and £200 belonging to Peverel Oak Management Ltd intending to destroy or damage such property or being reckless as to whether such property would be destroyed or damaged CONTRARY TO SECTIONS 1(1) AND 4 OF THE CRIMINAL DAMAGE ACT 1971.

Mr. Chalkley readily agreed with the arresting officers, Ali Ross and Mark Reynolds, believed to be from the “Anti-Graffiti” team, that he had indeed placed the allegedly offending sign on the building, having taken great care to do so to the best of his ability. On surrendering the stencil, he asked the arresting officers to take good care of it. He was taken to Trinity Road Police Station, where he was photographed , fingerprinted and his DNA was taken for police records.

Whilst accepting that he had painted the sign, Mr Chalkley pleades not guilty to criminal damage. The court date was set for 9.15 am on 9th October.

Explaining his position later, Mr. Chalkley said,

“For the last three years now, PRSC has been working to improve the neglected area of Stokes Croft. There is real and tangible evidence of this proactive strategy having a positive effect on our local community. The painting of this sign was part of this process. I could not plead guilty to this charge, because it is my honest belief that the act was a positive one, seeking to improve the area, thereby benefitting everybody in Stokes Croft.”

Declining to say more, Mr Chalkley stated that he will mount a robust defence of his actions in court, the date set being 9th October at 9.15 am.

sign1wordpressTwo coats of Dulux Masonry paint were applied to the surface. The frame was executed with the greatest care.sign2wordpressThe stencil was applied using black aerosol. The “Stoke’s Croft” lettering was taken from a 19th Century playbill, found during research at the City Records Office.sign3wordpress

74 Comments leave one →
  1. October 1, 2009 1:00 pm

    And what could look handsomer than that? I’m sure the defence will be robust. Good luck and best wishes.

  2. October 1, 2009 1:05 pm

    I like the sign, I think it was done sypathetically and that it looks cool. Good luck on the 9th Chris. x

  3. October 1, 2009 1:12 pm

    It would be criminal to prosecute him… go get em Chris… keep up the good work!

  4. October 1, 2009 1:13 pm

    Hi Chris

    could we petition or put pressure on Peverel Oak Management Ltd to drop the charges? we could suggest that they would be pilloried in the press for being against the very community that they dropped themselves in the middle of. We should mention that without Chris and the PRSC’s efforts the only community they would confront when leaving their luxury apartments would be street drinkers, but now they have culttural tourists and creatives who are making the area safer for them.

    I don’t think that chanting in court or anything would be very productive, but if you would like moral support on the 9th I would be pleased to be there since it’s on my doorstep. I think that the press should be told as soon as possible, and maybe we could have a vote like they did when they were wondering whether to clean up the banksi pic on park st.

    I don’t think it would be fair for you to have to carry a criminal record for supporting and empowering creativity and growth in this area.

    Mike Stuart

  5. janet roome permalink
    October 1, 2009 1:26 pm

    It’s really beautiful! Well done, Chris. I’ll try and be there in court on the 9th.

  6. October 1, 2009 1:27 pm

    I fail to see how thissigns can be classed as damage.
    Perhaps all those ugly brown ones directing people to the zoo could also be classed as such?
    As someone who lives and works in the area, I can only agree with the comment that “the act was a positive one, seeking to improve the area, thereby benefitting everybody in Stokes Croft.” Perhaps if the council had not neglected this area for so long, Mr. Chalkley would not need to do their job for them.

  7. October 1, 2009 1:30 pm

    the signs were great… as is all the work you are doing to promote the area.. keep it up…

  8. docoBANKSY permalink
    October 1, 2009 1:34 pm

    hi there

    this is great. should banksy be arrested? discuss? i would say that chris added more than £200 of value to the area. not taking value away!!

    all the best


  9. October 1, 2009 1:36 pm

    Nice sign chris,what were they gonna use…anti stick paint?
    P.s, am doing a street art workshop for 16 – 25 yo lds,stating 27th oct@ orange st,flyers on your way,could do with help promoting, call me or i you x
    much love D xxx

  10. Mephistoheles permalink
    October 1, 2009 1:38 pm

    Whoever allowed that block of flats to be built in the first place is really the one guilty of criminal damage – and who can put a price on the cost of the damage caused to the area by council neglect over the years? Truly, the law is an ass.
    Good work, Chris. Hopefully the publicity generated for PRSC by this idiotic charge will more than compensate for the inconvenience caused…

  11. Tara Roberts permalink
    October 1, 2009 1:46 pm

    Truly if it wasn’t for all the artwork around stokes croft the place would be dire.I think it’s sad the council/police take such a different view .

  12. Andrew Giaquinto permalink
    October 1, 2009 1:54 pm

    I am very impressed by the quality of the design and typography choice, working in harmony within its architectural surrounding!

    An excellent piece of localized navigational signage

  13. October 1, 2009 1:56 pm

    As most people who live in this area are aware the street art,graffiti in Stokes Croft has been the focus of an ongoing debate concerning its contribution to helps inprove stokes croft or makes it worse. Whatever peoples views are on this the actions of PRSC have highlighted deeper rooted problems to this area such as street drinking and the homeless.
    I cannot believe that tax payers money is going to be wasted on sending Chris Chalkley to court for erecting a sign to the side of a building.The offending sign is not obtrusive and is actually a nice gesture which would do little to offend anyone. Personally I find all the rubbish lying about much more offensive.Maybe you should send flytippers to court instead. There has also been an incident when a group of thugs were hitting each other with metal bars, I called the police and nobody came? maybe the police should spend more time actually doing something inportant.

  14. taran burns permalink
    October 1, 2009 1:58 pm

    i find this absolutely disgusting. chris chalkley has been amazingly innovative in restoring stokes croft, and he’s done an excellent job working with the city council too. he should be given a key to the city, instead of being arrested for something so stupid as criminal damage!

  15. October 1, 2009 2:13 pm

    Beautiful sign Chris, elegant and subtle. Not sure how such a sign can be misconstrued as ‘damage’ to those charming flats.

    It’s depressing how the law persecutes individuals for efforts which clearly benefit the city, while opening it’s arms wide to the plethora of consumerist and generic advertising that truly plagues our streets.

  16. anonymouse permalink
    October 1, 2009 2:19 pm

    Mephistoheles wrote:

    “Whoever allowed that block of flats to be built in the first place is really the one guilty of criminal damage”

    Um, local knowledge fail there old bean. Those flats haven’t always been flats; the building was originally Avon House, home to the gone-but-not-missed Avon County Council.

  17. Jules permalink
    October 1, 2009 2:22 pm

    As a resident of Stokes Croft I would like to thank Chris and the whole team of colaborators for making my local comunity a more beautiful, more colourful and more alive place to live. Recently I have seen people complaining in Venue that the grafiti is not to everyones taste. I wonder if they actually prefer the decay and neglect of boarded up shop fronts? Not all of it is to my taste either but what I do see is a community forming where there was not one before, people smiling as they walk down the street and tourists taking photographs. This is an inspiring example of citizens making something of their lot rather than waiting for dull local authorities spending our council tax pounds in the most unimaginative of ways. It is our community and our responsibility to make it a place we want to be. Thank you so much everyone who has contributed. Lest we forget, the council used to paint over Banksys work and now they are in cahoots! Please don’t give up, they will come round!

  18. October 1, 2009 2:27 pm

    Beautiful sign. What sort of person calls that criminal damage? Go for it Chris, and show this policy up tor the shambles it is.

  19. October 1, 2009 2:49 pm

    That’s a lovely piece of work Chris.

    Clearly lots more care, attention to aesthetic detail and consideration for the surrounding area than the council has shown by inflicting the tens of shabby yellow plastic signs warning of CCTV on The Croft & Jamaica Street the other week.

    Keep up the sterling work mate – It’s making the city a better place.

  20. Harry Tuttle permalink
    October 1, 2009 3:18 pm

    This has definately increased the value of the property not damaged it.

    There is no need for anyone to pay for its removal. It is neat, attractive and informative and is an asset to the building.

    Great work and good luck.

  21. TheDon permalink
    October 1, 2009 4:54 pm

    I think this is a fair punishment he should of asked for permission before putting that up and to be honest it doesn’t help the area look better.

  22. harrymac permalink
    October 1, 2009 4:58 pm

    Chris – they really shouldn’t be wasting your time over this. I can only see what you did as an improvement.

  23. Lorraine Davis (Peter Davis' sister-in-law) permalink
    October 1, 2009 5:29 pm

    Well Chris, this wasn’t what I expected to hear in my first email!
    Glad to hear you’re still so passionate about your beliefs. Thought your artwork brightened up a really drab and dreary building. We talk about your cause a lot up here in Yorkshire as we have the picture we bought from the gallery taking pride of place in our living room. Everyone asks about it when they come in.
    Hope all goes well for you on the 9th.
    Send our love to your Mum.

  24. FreeChalkley permalink
    October 1, 2009 5:34 pm

    Bean is backing you 100%. Maybe he’s next.

  25. foolphat permalink
    October 1, 2009 5:38 pm

    Police are just doing there job. Chris didn’t have permission so it’s not a surprise that he got arrested.

    Personally I think those flats although not the nicest flats in Bristol look a lot better now than when they were office blocks.

    I think it’s great that Stoke Croft has amazing concentration of artist talent and it should be shown off but we should also be careful not to over step the mark and the council people off.

    Hopefully with the new flats being built, Stokes Croft is on it’s way up after far too many years of neglect.

    Anyway…Keep up the good work P.R.S.C 🙂

  26. October 1, 2009 5:48 pm

    Stokes Croft was one of the reasons for me to fall in love with Bristol. During my walks through its streets I began to notice the uniqueness of the district, that somewhat reminded me of my home city and made me think about the so-called ‘public space’ and various opinions on its essence. I sincerely believe that PRSC and Mr Chalkley have been putting lots of effort towards making this place more people-friendly, giving it an internationally renowned name. I can only wish we had people like him here in Poland… Furthermore, I can hardly believe that the action mentioned above has been considered an act of devastation. I wish Mr Chalkley all the best and hope that everything will end up in a positive and constructive way.

  27. October 1, 2009 5:50 pm

    Well, I think it looks better with the PRSC sign – it’s a totally sterile building, it was when it belonged to Local Authority, and seemed to get more depressing (hitherto believed impossible) when it turned into windowless prison cells masquerading as Luxury Flats. They should put it to the much publicised Bristol City Council’s People’s Vote before bringing it to expensive court action. Disgraceful waste of public money.

  28. nigel permalink
    October 1, 2009 5:54 pm

    Well done Chris.

    It is time for communities to take back and have ownership of the spaces they live in and move through.

    I admire your campaign to regenerate Stokes Croft from the street up.

  29. dj dad permalink
    October 1, 2009 5:55 pm

    I can feel a ‘Save the Stokes Croft one’ fundraiser/awareness-raiser event coming on…nice one Chris

  30. Mr Dead permalink
    October 1, 2009 6:14 pm

    Chrsit what awaste of time nad money by the police after all the PRSC has done for stokes croft. Good luck Chris

  31. Colin permalink
    October 1, 2009 6:58 pm

    Good luck – happy to chip in a few quid if you are fined.

  32. Sarah Keown permalink
    October 1, 2009 8:15 pm

    How stupid to be arrested for having a positive impact on an ugly building and increasing peoples’ pride in their community?! He should be rewarded for being such a great influence!

  33. Nick George permalink
    October 1, 2009 8:49 pm

    Dear Chris.

    I think your ‘ Welcome to Stokes Croft’ sign is very well designed, informative and useful. I can’t understand why you should be arrested for this. This sort of mindless, bully boy tactics by the cops makes me mad.

    No wonder our council tax is so high and our streets in chaos on a Saturday night! If the authorities waste public money employing the boys in blue to sneak about arresting artists and do-gooders, then what hope is there.

    BFA will be happy to supply PRSC with some free paint for a new sign.

    Tally ho! Nick.

  34. harry permalink
    October 1, 2009 9:03 pm

    i think chris has done really well next time do it at night then you wont get caught

    anyway those built those block of flats are uguly !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. October 1, 2009 9:23 pm

    Where do I write to protest – please publish the e-mail of the person I can write to – outrageous! I hope you have the press on your side.

  36. Moira Gillbrook permalink
    October 2, 2009 8:14 am

    Well done Chris. The sign looks great. There’s nothing negative about it, only good, positive, friendly warmth. You’ve done an amazing job with the PRSC – Stokes Croft isn’t the same place it was a few years ago. Your sign says it all: ‘Welcome to Stokes Croft’.

  37. von permalink
    October 2, 2009 9:15 am

    pretty unbelievable.

    for one I think if the building management were so pissed off about it would take all of five minutes and about 20p’s worth of paint to put it right, and for two I think it does no harm, and for three, it enhances the area making the ex office building look like it may have a bit of class for once. it has a certain germanic quality to it that could be brought into the whole stokes croft cultural quarter ethos.

    I honestly believe what Chris is doing is worthy of commendation from the council, the police force and everyone who works with the homeless and disaffected of this deprived and neglected area. He is making a huge improvement both to the areas appearance and ambiance, it feels safer, cleaner, and ultimately much more appealing.

    The recent defacement of Banksys “Mild Mild West” graf proved what a great thing has happened here…local business and residents all worked together to put it right again. I’m not sure anyone would have bothered a few years ago before Chris started PRSC.

    No two ways about it…this is a man doing great things with an unwavering belief in human kind and the sole purpose of involving his community in creative endeavours and social interaction. I will always be on his side.

    criminal damage…my arse!!!!!!!

  38. October 2, 2009 9:15 am

    Ha ha ha, very funny! Well done Chris, this will really encourage some proper debate about street art and graffiti and local people claiming back their streets. Let us know if you need any support mate and keep us posted on your campaign!

  39. graffiti supporter permalink
    October 2, 2009 9:32 am

    Maybe ask Banksy to stand in defence. Charges will definately be dropped… He has caused millions of pounds worth of ‘damage’ and still free to paint more. So Banksy go and repaint this spot and I’m sure 2 plain clothes officers with take you for a cup of tea or a pint across the road and tell you how good you are..

  40. Smiffy permalink
    October 2, 2009 9:50 am

    Good work , keep up the good fight Chris we are behind you.

  41. October 2, 2009 11:53 am

    …in what way has the building been damaged? Criminal or otherwise, surely the ‘damage’ to the fabric of the building can amount to no more than a couple of screw holes. Is that really £200 quids worth?

  42. October 2, 2009 1:26 pm

    chris has been systematically drawing attention to the neglected buildings and general state of stokes croft for the last few years and the local police and ESPECIALLY the anti-graffiti team should be well aware of this. Once more the local authority is making its own bad press with the local community.

  43. October 2, 2009 2:21 pm

    i cant believe they have an undercover team specifically the hang around stokes croft to jump on people like this

  44. bill permalink
    October 2, 2009 2:38 pm

    “28/08/09 and 01/01/09” ?

    Time flows backwards. Do the police know this?

    You’ll be out in no time.

  45. October 2, 2009 2:39 pm

    I agree. Thank you Chris, S.C. owes you! All the best.

  46. October 2, 2009 2:42 pm

    ps: That sign looks gorgeous! If anything, you’ve put up the value of that property, if not the entire S.C. area. Soulless dumbasses, they’ll be on your **** as soon as they realise this, just like what happened to Banksy.

  47. October 2, 2009 3:18 pm

    Well, I think it looks better with the PRSC sign – it’s a totally sterile building, it was when it belonged to Local Authority, and seemed to get more depressing (hitherto believed impossible) when it turned into windowless prison cells masquerading as Luxury Flats. They should put it to the much publicised Bristol City Council’s People’s Vote before bringing it to expensive court action. Irresponsible waste of public money.

  48. October 2, 2009 4:36 pm

    I echo Rudolf Sikorski. We weren’t expecting to have to spend a day in Bristol but I, too, found it an amazing place, walking from the Gloucester Road down and then up to Clifton. And the discovery of Stokes Croft (as well as meeting Chris in the centre) was the highlight of our day, as I wrote with lots of pics on the blog.

    No need to tell you to keep up the good work. But the best of luck anyway.

  49. Jenni G permalink
    October 2, 2009 4:44 pm

    Good luck Chris, Let me know if there’s anything I can do, or if you would like supporters to turn up. If you went for the petition idea I’d like to offer my help. I’d also like to chip in if you get a fine.

  50. Andy permalink
    October 2, 2009 8:03 pm

    Good luck Chris. It should be an opportunity for you to expand on your philosophy and examine the language and definitions of the law. Press will delight in an opportunity for copy

  51. Chris Glynn permalink
    October 3, 2009 9:20 am

    People of the Mighty Junction, adore your streets and walls!
    People of the Luxury Flats, speak!
    Cardiff is with you, Chris.

  52. October 3, 2009 10:16 am

    Did the police ask th 5102 residents if they minded? Doesent the Attic bar new paint job look good? you can just see it in the background… hurray Stokes Croft is slowly but surely getting a face lift! Long liove the revolution!

  53. IK Brunel permalink
    October 3, 2009 9:13 pm

    Chris and PRSC – keep up the good work.

    If only the owners of 51 02 were so prompt at keeping the area around their flats clean and well swept.

  54. jacques permalink
    October 4, 2009 8:42 am

    Do create a liberated artistic area in your town. There is no possible damage to that. In fact great art originates from such areas, and its just great news to hear that all people are artists. Too bad the authorities don’t catch on yet. Used to be before the conquest that great elections were held for authority that really improved the living and working conditions. Suppression of liberation art is not the kind of news needed in our times.

  55. Michelle Saxon permalink
    October 5, 2009 10:51 am

    What Chris has done for Stokes Croft is amazing!! The sign is fantastic it will encourage visitors, the council should be thanking him!! As a visitor from Stoke-on-Trent I found Stokes Croft inspirational, keep up the good work Chris, I can bake a cake with a file in it if you need one! 🙂

  56. October 5, 2009 12:18 pm

    I agree with most of the others, that this sign can only help to enhance the area and could not in any legal sense be regarded as “damage”. I too am dismayed that a property management company which will actually benefit from the splendid social, cultural and physical improvements that the PRSC is achieving in Stokes Croft is wasting police, court and its own time pursuing an ill-founded legal action.

    I hope that this “show trial” will generate useful publicity about the great work that Chris and the PRSC are doing to regenerate a neighbourhood that has been “criminally” neglected by the local authorities. I suspect that the police were only obeying orders and that Peverel Oak Management are the real villains in this piece.

  57. Jo House permalink
    October 5, 2009 1:08 pm

    My kids delight at all the artwork in Stokes Croft Every time we get the bus into town we sit on the top deck and look out for it. They are really excited each time they see something new. It has really inspired them. It has definitely made our area better to live in. That round-about is the most depressing place to wait and catch a bus (the stop going back north up the A38), the only think that makes it pleasant is the artwork to look at. Please don’t be discouraged, its a public service what you guys are doing.

  58. October 5, 2009 4:01 pm

    Free the Stokes Croft one

  59. October 5, 2009 10:57 pm

    Sign is beautiful, makes me as a resident of Stokes Croft feel proud about the area and all the fantastic street art that is happening. Much better than the empty pizza boxes, kebab papers etc that usually adorn the streets. Happy to bake a cake with a file in it if you need it! Hopefully the case will get a lot of press coverage and embarrass the council and graffiti police into the bargain. Keep up the fantastic work that you do and if you want donations if you are fined let me know.

  60. October 6, 2009 12:50 pm

    Good luck on the 9th – we are on your side…

  61. Ken Smith permalink
    October 6, 2009 12:56 pm

    How did they figure ‘offensive’ ?

  62. gareth permalink
    October 6, 2009 9:59 pm

    if only they all looked that good…


  63. Pamela permalink
    October 7, 2009 8:47 am

    I think it is a disgrace that courts are wasting their time targeting Chris Chalkley, who has made an outstanding contribution to beautifying a neglected area, from his own time and expenses. This is especially hypocritical given the violent altercations happening in the area recently, while the personification of Stokes Croft’s rejuvenation is Chris!
    Chris, I am finally going to email you my article on the PRSC, published on the web with, that connects you guys with the French Situationists and other significant cultural pioneers! Good luck in court! Will be with you in spirit. Dr P xx

  64. anji permalink
    October 7, 2009 10:05 am

    well i be,all beyond me. what is all the fuss about, im a stokes croft resident/artist and im having the pleasure of watchting my area improve,become an interesting,varied and inspiring place to live in at last.chris you are doing no wrong.Im on your side all the way.any help needed just let me know.

  65. October 8, 2009 10:11 am

    Lovely sign, no damage done. The charge and court action is a stupid waste of time and money.

  66. bernard permalink
    October 8, 2009 7:31 pm

    Good luck on the 9th.

    I’ve been going through SC a few times each week for the past 2 years or so and every time noticed some little (and a few large) improvements. All this directly or indirectly down to you lot at the PRSC. Just look at the buzz around the Canteen now. Well done & don’t let the buggers grind you down.

  67. Quintron permalink
    October 9, 2009 11:17 am

    Phew! Realised the date, and thought I’d missed it – Glad to hear they’re just setting the date for the trial today. Keep us posted Chris!

    This absurd action is shameful for both the management company and the council. Hardly surprising of course, but still shameful. The whole farce would be funny if it wasn’t for all the public money being pissed down the drain by their small minded attitudes. Peverel Oak ould be made to pay all costs – irrespective of the verdict!

    As Heather note above we need to know who to write to – educate these bloody numpties!

  68. December 9, 2009 9:21 am

    The creative work Chris Chalkley and his contemporaries have carried out in the Stokes Croft area must be commended – it is absolutely terrific. The powers that be should support PRSC – and not these management companies that lack any vision apart from what they can get out of a community – The police are no better than enforcers working on behalf of these landlords.
    Chris Chalkley well done that man!!

  69. March 28, 2011 7:12 am

    If only all signs were blessed with the aesthetics of this one. I can feel a petition for contemporary street signs coming on….

  70. May 23, 2011 2:42 pm

    The creative work Chris Chalkley and his contemporaries have carried out in the Stokes Croft area must be commended – it is absolutely terrific. The powers that be should support PRSC – and not these management companies that lack any vision apart from what they can get out of a community – The police are no better than enforcers working on behalf of these landlords.

  71. Chris Chalkley permalink
    June 22, 2011 5:41 pm

    Liking your work Chris, but i do get funny looks when a police officer or potential employer takes my name :-/


  1. Libby Miller (libbymiller) 's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 11:58:20 UTC -
  2. Dan Brickley (danbri) 's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 13:26:14 UTC -
  3. Chris Chalkley Arrest Update: Trial date will be set tomorrow, Friday 9th at 9.15 am. « Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: