The popular gangland weapon that can ‘take limbs off’

Samurai-style swords are seen as an attractive alternative to firearms according to a former criminal.

Earlier this week a man in his 30s was attacked with a weapon which police believe may have been a samurai sword.

The emergency services were called out to Delph Lane, in Whiston, at around 4.55pm on Monday following reports of a stabbing.

The victim was taken to hospital after being stabbed in the neck and wrists.

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A police spokesman said inquiries were ongoing to establish the type of weapon used.

Last Sunday two men aged 20 and a boy, 16, were stabbed in Formby.

A witness told the ECHO he saw a young man hit with an axe and then slashed with a samurai-type sword. The witness said the axe and sword were used after a fist fight on the dunes.

Police have said there is nothing to suggest either a sword or axe was used in any of the three incidents.

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Although not a regular occurrence, samurai swords are sometimes used by criminals on Merseyside.

Samurai sword found in Huyton after reports of men roaming streets with weapons

Now a former Liverpool criminal, who asked not be named, has spoken to the ECHO about the use of samurai swords.

He said: "After a gun they are the ultimate weapon, so that is why gangs like them and use them.

"Obviously guns are not easy to source and can be expensive. And there is the jail time if you are caught with one.

"Yes, if you are caught with a samurai in the street you will be in trouble, but the sentences can be light."

The well-known Liverpool man said samurai swords had the potential to cause devastating injuries.

He said: "They can take limbs off, so yes, they are a scary weapon. I have been chased down Scotland Road by a fella with one when I was younger. "

The ex-crook said that many established Liverpool criminals kept samurai swords at home as ornaments.

He said: "You often see them on the wall or above the fireplace in certain homes. I think if it's an antique and on the wall, the police can't touch you for it.

"But they are there as a self-defence or home defence weapon. Obviously people from that world have enemies.

"Yes, you could have a gun but then that is a serious jail time if the police come in and find it. "

Samurai swords are illegal in the UK but can be kept as an ornament at home if classed as an antique.

Police regularly seize samurai swords and similar weapons during raids across the city. In particular, Operation Target has targeted individuals who are linked to weapons and serious crime.

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Merseyside Police received millions of pounds of extra funding from the Home Office to lead the Operation Target initiative.

The force has invested some of the money in hand-held devices that can easily detect weapons such as swords and machetes.

Anyone with information about weapons and serious crime should call police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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