Police body-cam captures moment teenager with machete in his waistband tried to flee

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A teenager who attempted to evade officers while carrying a machete in his waistband has avoided jail.

Justin Earp, 18 and of Diamond Crescent, Swindon, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a knife in a public place.

He was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment suspended for 24 months when he appeared at Swindon Crown Court last week.

The incident - which was captured by police-worn body cameras - happened on the evening of May 28, when police officers in Swindon received information suggesting knives were being carried in a vehicle nearby.

They stopped the vehicle and the occupants attempted to flee the scene.

Earp exited from the passenger side and as he did so officers spotted a machete in his trouser waistband. A large combat knife was also seen to fall from his clothing.

The weapons were seized and Earp was arrested and later charged with two counts of possession of a bladed article.

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PC Ben Agate of Wiltshire Police said: “We are committed to targeting those who insist on carrying knives on our streets.

“I hope this case acts as reassurance to the local community that we are robustly dealing with knife crime, and will do all in our power to target those carrying weapons.”

Supt Phil Staynings added: “Effectively tackling knife crime is one of my priorities. My officers are working hard to ensure that we remove knives from the streets of the borough of Swindon, acting robustly to enforce the law against offenders to protect our community.

“They work together alongside other agencies and the community to try and reduce offending, divert young people away from crime, and target the most dangerous people in the community with enforcement activity.

“The full impact of knife crime can never be underestimated and in some cases the fatal consequences it leads to.

“The impact this leaves on the lives of victims’ families is truly devastating and horrific.”
Earp was also ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work, and pay a £128 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The machete and combat knife were both forfeited and destroyed by police.

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