Man Strapped with Two Japanese Swords Arrested

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Police officers have arrested a man strapped with two Japanese-style swords and thousands of pounds in cash in London.

“Another long shift for the officers. Male stopped and found with these strapped to his waist along with [a] few grand in cash,” the Gospel Oak Police team of London’s Metropolitan Police Force said in a social media post, uploaded with a picture of two blue, straight-edged swords printed with Japanese characters.

“Off to custody we go,” the officers added, boasting that they had taken “[a]another dangerous weapon… off the streets of London.”

The name, nationality, and physical description of the suspect were not disclosed.

While the local press have described the weapons as “Samurai swords” this is not strictly accurate, as the swords are not curved like true katanas and lack key features such as a tsuba, or hand guard.

“Samurai swords” have been largely banned in the United Kingdom, with restrictions brought in by the previous Labour government in the 2000s and tightened by the incumbent Conservatives (Tories) in 2019, with other curved swords such as sabres and scimitars also falling foul of the prohibition, as a result of violent criminals occasionally making use of them.

Some exceptions exist for antiques and blades fashioned using traditional hand-forging techniques, for example — although some police forces may not realise this, given officers actively harassed collectors before the tighter rules went into operation.

Other relatively obscure weapons the British government has taken it upon itself to outlaw include sword-sticks, shurikens (throwing stars), and even more esoteric Far Eastern weapons such as the kusari-gama (a sickle attached to a rope, cord, chain, or wire) and the kyoketsu-shoge (a hook-knife attached to a rope, cord, chain, or wire).

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