POLICE disrupted the tranquillity of a Swindon suburb when they hauled a suspected graffiti artist out of bed.

The dawn raid was the first of two searches police carried out yesterday.

Officers turned up at the man's parents' detached home in Laughton Way, Abbey Meads.

He is suspected of leaving at least 50 tags of Ekon and Endo across the town and causing more than £10,000 worth of damage.

Police also searched a house in Cornflower Road, Haydon Wick, but, although they spoke to the suspect's father, they are still waiting to speak to him.

At the Abbey Meads house curtains down the street began twitching as neighbours awoke to the unexpected sight of police searching the 20-year-old man's car.

His computer was seized from the house, along with numerous drawings of graffiti tags and what appeared to be details of where the tags were in the town.

At the house in Haydon Wick, where the suspect also lives with his parents, police found cannabis along with bucket-loads of spray cans.

The community beat manager for the Orbital policing team in north Swindon, PC Troy Smith, said: "We have collated intelligence regarding graffiti and we believe this is somebody who has done vast swathes of graffiti throughout the estates.

"It's not just Abbey Meads. It's the Orbital Centre, which is our main shopping park in the area.

"He is also thought to be responsible for graffiti throughout the entire town, but mainly in the northern expansion."

Police say that yesterday's action shows they are determined to weed out those behind the scrawls of paint blighting the town.

PC Smith said: "We have recently received many, many complaints about graffiti from residents and it's not just the northern expansion. Throughout Swindon it's a major problem."

The new Orbital Neighbour-hood Policing Team recently held a public meeting and PC Smith said that 90 per cent of the concerns were about graffiti.

"It's literally on every other lamppost or every other wall you see. It's a blight on the community and we are going to make sure we try our best to stamp it out," he said.

Police will be speaking to the man from the Haydon Wick address who is in his late teens.

Both the houses searched yesterday were in affluent parts of Swindon.

PC Smith said: "These kids aren't the normal people you would expect.

"They are not from deprived backgrounds, they come from nice areas and their parents are nice people and law-abiding citizens.

"Unfortunately their children seem to be falling in with the wrong crowd or this sort of lifestyle has obviously been bigged up' so to speak and they will soon learn as they get older this sort of lifestyle is not the way to go."

At the house in Haydon Wick many of the empty cans were found in the garage and PC Smith called on parents to take a role in tackling graffiti.

"I think parents should be aware that if their kids are coming home with paint sprays or paint pens or maker pens in their pockets then it may be a pointer to the fact that they may be out doing graffiti," he said.

"A lot of people tend to practise their tags as well on paper before they go out and do the deed on public property so that's something parents could look for."

PC Smith also urged shop staff to be responsible when it comes to selling paints.

"We are working together with the council to try and eradicate this problem.

"The message to people who are out doing graffiti is we are going to find out who you are, you will be arrested and you will be charged. Basically just don't do it."