Excerpt from The Independant.
“Geographic profiling”, a technique used to catch serial criminals, has proved that the elusive artist Banksy really is Robin Gunningham, according to academic research.
Scientists at Queen Mary University of London claim to have “tagged” Banksy, by identifying a pattern between the locations where his graffiti artworks most frequently appear and addresses with a close association to Gunningham, named as Banksy in a 2008 newspaper investigation.
The secretive street artist was the unwilling subject of a statistical “geoprofile.” The research was delayed after Banksy’s lawyers contacted the university with concerns over how the study, titled Tagging Banksy, would be promoted.
The researchers said they wanted to demonstrate the broader potential of geographic profiling, a sophisticated form of statistical analysis used in criminology to try and narrow down possible locations where a repeat offender might be living.
Setting themselves the challenge of establishing Banksy’s identity, the academics selected 140 suspected works by the artist in London and Bristol. The locations suggested clusters of “hot spots” which could be narrowed down, with further investigation, to pinpoint an individual.
The “hot spot” peaks correlated to a pub, playing fields, a residential address in Bristol and three addresses in London. Using publicly available information, the researchers concluded that those locations were all places lived in or frequented by Gunningham