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Man jailed for drug offences and possessing a knife – Bristol

A custody photo of Maurice Villious
Maurice Villious who is also known as 'Marco'

A man has been jailed after being caught with a knife and drugs by officers in Bristol.

Maurice Villious was stopped by officers while driving through the St Pauls area of the city during the early hours of 6 September.

During a subsequent search of his vehicle they found quantities of heroin, cocaine and cannabis as well as knife.

The 25-year-old, who is known as Marco, was taken into custody before being charged with possession with possession with intent to supply heroin and cocaine, possession of cannabis and possession of a bladed article in a public place.

He appeared at Bristol Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday 10 April) having pleaded guilty to the offences at a previous hearing and was jailed for two years and four months.

Yesterday’s sentencing follows the implementation of a new proactive operation to tackle and disrupt serious violence and knife crime involving young people, which was announced following a number of fatal stabbings and serious assaults in Bristol.

The operation has brought together a dedicated team of police officers and staff from CID (Criminal Investigations Department), intelligence, and proactive response teams, whose focus is on identifying those who pose the biggest risk in a bid to divert, disrupt or detain them.  

Activities officers and staff are conducting include high–visibility patrols in areas intelligence indicates an increased risk of serious violence, the proactive targeting of habitual knife carriers – those who have come to the attention of police at least twice before regarding possession of a bladed article and knife sweeps of parks and open spaces.

Other work is also being undertaken with partners across education, health and social care, and local authorities through our local Violence Reduction Partnerships (VRP) to ensure that we are taking a holistic approach, considering the age and vulnerability of some of those involved. This work includes school education visits to raise awareness of the consequences of knife crime.

Inspector Steve Davey said: “Maurice Villious is a habitual knife carrier and poses a serious risk to a certain group of young people as well as vulnerable drug users.

“Officers were concerned at the speed he was driving and after stopping him, saw drug paraphernalia scattered throughout his vehicle, leading them to carry out a search.

“His early guilty plea suggests he appears to be well aware his conduct is criminal and it is right he has now lost his liberty as a result.”

He added: “We are working extremely hard to identify those who pose the biggest risks to young people in our community, as well as those who are most at risk of being harmed to ensure that we can appropriately safeguard them. 

“Enforcement, like the arrest of Villious, is not the answer to solving the national knife crime issue and it is only by working with our partners, our communities and families that we will prevent young people from carrying knives and divert them away from serious violence.”

If you are concerned or worried that someone you know may be involved or at risk of serious violence, involving knife crime, please report. You can do so by:

    • Calling 101

    • Reporting anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online.

We would encourage anybody who is carrying a knife for safety to please discard of it – it will not keep you safe and you are more likely to be harmed or cause harm if you are carrying a knife, even if you do not intend to use it.

You can surrender any knives or weapons safely and anonymously in one of our weapon surrender bins, which are located in several areas across Bristol and Avon and Somerset, including:

    • Castle Park, Bristol (near the church, opposite the entrance to The Galleries)

    • Staple Hill, Broad Street (opposite Page Park)

    • The Park Centre, Daventry Road, Knowle, BS4 1DQ

    • Trojan Free Fighters, St Jude’s, BS2 9DA

See the full list of locations here.