Samurai knife find prompts police warning to festive shoppers

Seizures of blades including a Samurai knife at Stratford train station have resulted in a police warning to shoppers ahead of the festive period.

British Transport Police urged customers to avoid anti-social behaviour and violence at Westfield Stratford City over Christmas and New Year's - advising that more officers would be deployed in the area.

It comes after officers also recovered a machete and Rambo knife during the operation.

BTP posted pictures of the weapons on social media and announced that three teenagers had been charged over the offensive items.

Westfield Stratford, dubbed the largest urban shopping and leisure centre in Europe, is likely to be swarming with shoppers over the next weeks.

In a message on Twitter, BTP said: "If you're doing your Christmas shopping in Stratford you'll see more officers over the next few weeks."

On Friday the force revealed that the youngest teenager to be charged in relation to the haul was just 15.

"It is horrifying and totally unacceptable that individuals are carrying weapons like this in public," Chief Inspector John Loveless said.

"Anyone found with a weapon can expect to be arrested and prosecuted and we will work to secure convictions with offenders facing the prospect of jail.

"On this occasion I have no doubt the seizure of these weapons prevented a serious assault or worse taking place."

In September, a 15-year-old boy was arrested over an attack which left six men injured after they were sprayed with a noxious substance in the area around the Stratford Centre