A: Firstly, I must say that this is the strangest question I have ever been asked.
To answer your question:
The Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1960 prohibits "the importation, manufacture, sale or other disposition of certain offensive weapons". There is no definition of an "offensive weapon".
The Prevention of Crime (Offensive Weapons) Act 1953 prohibits "the carrying of offensive weapons in public places without lawful authority or reasonable excuse".
The Act seeks to add clarity by including the following definitions:
- “public place” includes any highway and any other premises or place to which at the material time the public have or are permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise.
- “offensive weapon” means any article made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person, or intended by the person having it with him for such use by him.
The Act basically implies that a weapon is only offensive if the person in possession of the weapon has the intention of using it to injure. So technically, one can walk in public with a sword just for show and still fall within the remit of the law.
Regardless of this archaic, poorly written legislation, I would not advise you to walk around with a sword, or similar object, unless, maybe, it's sheathed and definitely not intended to be used as a weapon. However, the Police do the arresting, and I'm sure that you will be arrested for such an act.