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It is now illegal to have a knuckle duster in a private dwelling
It is now illegal to have a knuckle duster in a private dwelling

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New Offensive Weapons Act used to prosecute drug dealer

A drug dealer who stored a knuckle duster in his home has been jailed after he was prosecuted under new legislation.

Nicholas Sean Tyrell, 30 (25.08.1991), of Croydon, was arrested on 18 July after officers witnessed a drug deal about to take place from his car. When they subsequently searched his home address they uncovered offensive weapons, which are now illegal to own.

Changes to legislation brought about by the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 mean that from July 2021 it is an offence to possess certain items such as knuckledusters and zombie knives in a private dwelling.

Tyrell was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on Monday, 25 October to a total of three years and three months' imprisonment. He had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of an offensive weapon in a private place, two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs, two counts of assault of an emergency worker and obstructing police during a search.

On 18 July at around 10pm, officers from the Violence Suppression Unit were on proactive patrol in Croydon when they noticed two individuals known to use drugs. Officers watched them make their way to Alpha Road where they approached a grey Mercedes and one of them got into the passenger seat.

As police approached the car they saw the driver, Tyrell, notice their presence and throw two small white wraps onto the pavement. He was detained for a search and immediately became aggressive, even shoving one officer so hard he hit the floor. The drugs were seized as well as a burner style phone in the car.

After Tyrell was arrested, his home address was searched. A large amount of white and brown powder wraps, later confirmed to be drugs, four mobile phones and £250 in cash was on the dining room table. In the same room officers round a friction lock baton and a black knuckle duster, changes to the offensive weapons act mean it is now illegal to own such items, even in a private place. They also discovered cannabis, scales and other drugs paraphernalia.

Tyrell gave no comment during his police interview.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Leonard, said: “Tyrell was caught red handed by police on the cusp of dealing drugs to vulnerable members of his own community. Officers on proactive patrol to bear down on violence acted on local knowledge, ultimately removing a dangerous criminal from the streets.

“The arresting officers were sadly subject to physical abuse from Tyrell who became violent and resisted arrest, resulting in injuries. This is wholly unacceptable when they patrol London every day to keep the public safe.

“Tackling violence in all its forms is our top priority and we know drugs are closely linked to violent crime. Our efforts to disrupt drug dealers will not stop and we urge anyone with information on violent crime to contact us or reach out to the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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It is absolutely critical that we, along with our partners, drive down violent crime in London - this is the top priority for all in the Met.

Our plans are strong and officers are using a range of tactics from prevention and diversion activities to enforcement. Our continued efforts are starting to have a collective impact, with data showing positive reductions across serious violent crime categories.

This year to September 2021 (CYTD), compared to the same period prior to the pandemic in 2019, has seen:

  • Homicides decrease by 10%
  • Knife crime decrease by 32%
  • Knife crime with injury decrease by 20%
  • Knife Injury (victims under 25 and non-domestic abuse) decrease by 27%
  • Personal robbery decrease by 45%
  • Personal robbery knife injury decrease by 36%
  • Gun crime decrease by 36%
  • Lethal barrel discharges decrease by 28%

Despite these reductions, we are not complacent and know there is more to do. Our determination to tackle these crimes remains strong and we will continue to work with our partners, and use every power and tactic available, to serve and protect our communities.

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