A SAMURAI sword-wielding man was arrested in Southampton by armed police.

Officers rushed to Shirley Road at around 9.30am on Wednesday March 18 after receiving reports that a man was waving a samurai sword around outside of a boots store.

A 32-year-old man, of no fixed address, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of possessing a knife or sharp pointed article in a public place.

Witnesses were "quite amazed" by what they saw, as eight police officers, "one armed with a pistol", reportedly held a gun to the head of a man on the ground.

Mikey Wilson, who works as a bartender for the Santo Lounge in Shirley, said: "I saw around eight policeman and one of them was armed with a pistol. It was quite a scene. Someone walked into the restaurant after and said that there was a man with a sword outside of boots. He said police had him on the floor with a gun to his head.

"I was quite amazed really, it's bizarre seeing things like that happen so close. It was a big operation and it all seems to be going on in Shirley at the moment!"

Hampshire Police confirmed the man has "been released" but remains under investigation in relation to that offence.

A spokesperson said: "I can confirm officers stopped a man on Shirley Road shortly after 9.30am on Wednesday March 18. The 32-year-old, of no fixed abode, was subsequently arrested on suspicion of possessing a knife/sharp pointed article in a public place. It has been described as a Samurai sword. He was released but remains under investigation in relation to that offence."

Southampton MP, Royston Smith described this as a "highly irresponsible act".

He said: "I am pleased the police acted so quickly. Behaviour like this simply cannot be tolerated. Our public services, including our police officers, have enough to do keeping the public safe and reassured during these very challenging times without having to respond to incidents such as this one."

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information can contact police on 101, quoting the reference number 44200101525.