POLICE have launched an investigation following complaints about a shop in York city centre selling T-shirts emblazoned with the official Nazi state insignia.

One woman has told of her disgust over the clothing in the front window display at Blue Moon Trading, in Goodramgate, which she spotted while walking past.

Patricia Jones said she saw a black T-shirt featuring a large picture of the Hoheitszeichen – an eagle carrying a white swastika in its talons.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “We are currently investigating a complaint from a member of the public relating to T-shirts of an offensive nature being sold at a shop in York.

“The owner of the shop has been reported for summons, and the case is now in the hands of the Crown Prosecution Service.”

Ms Jones said: “I can’t even find a suitable word to describe that individual. I think it is disgusting.

“What kind of human being would want to sell or buy that? He is lucky he doesn’t live in Germany; he would get a mandatory prison sentence. I hope that the citizens of York are as disgusted as I am.”

Ms Jones also contacted members of City of York Council and reported it to police as a hate crime.

She said: “I love York, but it has really upset me, that I have to live alongside someone like that. I think most York people are decent human beings. It is just so insulting.”

Counc Brian Watson, of City of York Council, said he was aware of the situation and had tried speaking to the proprietor, Stuart Sykes. He said: “I wrote him a polite request asking him to remove it from display as it was offending people. We went into the shop and introduced ourselves and handed over the letter.”

Stuart Sykes, owner of Blue Moon Trading, said he regularly received complaints about some of his merchandise, but moved the shirts when he was asked.

He said: “I took them all down and put them in the back of the shop until after Remembrance Sunday, because I appreciated the sensitivity of the timing.

“The law is very simple; they can be sold in any country in the world except Germany.

“I was a vegetarian for 12 years, and I never tried to shut butchers’ shops down.”

In December 2008, Mr Sykes was criticised for his decision to sell and display Nazi memorabilia including pendants with swastika designs.