Quirky News

  • 16 August 2011, 12:54

Has Banksy turned over a new leaf?

NZ police take on Banksy /Rex

Dramatic new artworks in the style of guerilla street artist Banksy have raised eyebrows by depicting the police in a positive light.

One shows two cops bravely chasing a violent offender, while another depicts an officer comforting a woman in distress.

Banksy has previously poked fun at the police by showing them in provocative poses, such as lighting a joint for a small girl or as riot police with smiley faces.

But the Bristol-born artist has not lost his subversive edge - the stencilled graffiti is part of a recruitment drive by New Zealand police.

Kiwi artist Otis Frizzell was asked to create works showing examples of real-life serving officers at work.

Acting Commissioner Viv Rickard says the new campaign is inspired by the heroic actions of police in their everyday jobs.

One shows Constable Madeline Roberts and Constable Julia Vahry performing a pincer movement from both ends of an alleyway to apprehend a fleeing and violent offender.

While an artwork on a wall in Christchurch shows Constable Nao Yoshimizu, who played a significant role in the earthquake rescue and recovery effort.

Commissioner Rickard says: "The first in a series of installations went up in Wellington. We don't want to say too much more about where and when the others are going up. Each one will tell the story of a real officer and the real work they do or have done.

"Clearly there are a lot of young people out there who have a real desire to help their community, and this initiative aims to inspire them to think about a police career in a different light."