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Man tries to swallow 7cm knife after being stopped by police in Camden Town

Fireworks miss officers by 10cm on busy Bonfire Night patrols

06 November, 2017

The knife that was eventually retrieved by officers

A suspected drug dealer attempted to swallow a knife with a 7cm blade when he was stopped by police in Camden Town last night (Sunday).

It came on a busy Bonfire Night in which police were also narrowly missed by fireworks launched towards their heads.

Officers were searching a man in Pratt Street at around 11pm when he put his hands into his pockets and produced a lock knife.

They attempted to restrain the man and during the ensuing struggle he was able to put the knife in his mouth, leading to a tense ten minute stand off as officers pleaded with him to spit it out and told him it was “not worth dying for”.

Officers were not able to forcibly retrieve the knife due to new Met guidance, issued after the deaths of Rashan Charles and Edson Da Costa, that suspended the use of “mouth searching by force”.

PC Matt Ebbs, of the Regents Park neighbourhood team, said: “He resisted the drug search and tried to put his hands in his pockets and was restrained. In the course of doing this he managed to take a lock knife, with a blade of about 7cm, out. In the struggle he managed to get it into his mouth. He was taken to the floor and ordered to spit out the knife.

“We identified he had something in his mouth and made numerous pleas for him to spit it out. We were making the pleas for his own safety.”

While issuing orders to spit out the knife, PC Aaron Eaglestone had told the man that it was not worth risking his life for.

PC Ebbs added: “It’s a good result. There’s one less knife on the streets and no harm came to the suspect. It would have been a very different story if he had swallowed it. We would have been answering lots of questions.”

The man was arrested for possession of the knife.

Earlier in the evening PC Ebbs and PC Julia Ryland were narrowly missed by a firework launched towards them by a group of teenagers on the Regent’s Park Estate.

PC Ebbs said: “We were dealing with a group of youths in Augustus Street when a firework was fired towards us. They continued to fire them towards us as we approached and one flew about 10cm between our heads. It went straight in the middle of myself and PC Ryland.”

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