Graffiti train raises security worries

MTR has filed a police report after a Tseung Kwan O line train was found covered with graffiti, though online users “liked” the surprise.

Online photos showed what appeared to be spray-painted graffiti measuring 22 meters by 1.5m on two cars of a train traveling from Tseung Kwan O to North Point.

A Tung Chung line train was also sprayed with graffiti last week and online users believe the vandalism cases could be linked.

Online users liked the new look, with some saying it brought a breath of fresh air to the train’s dull gray appearance.

“This is an art train,” one said. “The graffiti looks way better than other train side advertisements,” Facebook user Azzy Sothoth said. But some are worried about security breaches.

Facebook user Mawson Mawson asked: “How did those people sneak into the depots and spray graffiti on the trains?” Another said: “The key issue is that the MTR depots are so incompetent that people can sneak in and paint on the trains.”

The railway operator said its staff spotted the graffiti on the second and third cars at around 9am.

Online users noted that the vandalized train continued to carry passengers until 11am yesterday.

The train has returned to the Tseung Kwan O depot for further investigation and MTR has stated that services have not been affected.

“Vandalism, including graffiti, is a criminal offense. We urge the public to take care of railroad facilities and not to break the law,” an MTR spokesman said.

MTR confirmed a train was found covered with graffiti at the Siu Ho Wan depot on Lantau Island on September 18 and it has been referred to police for a follow-up investigation. Both cases have been classified as criminal damage.

This is not the first time an MTR train had been covered in graffiti. In March 2018 an East Rail line train was sprayed with tags.

In July 2016 online videos showed an American couple sneaking into depots in Kowloon Bay and Chai Wan, spraying trains with words such as “Crime Time.”

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