Shoreham: Fifteen youths arrested after female police officer 'punched in the head'

12 July 2020, 15:25 | Updated: 12 July 2020, 17:44

Fifteen people have been arrested in Sussex after a large group of youths "became aggressive towards police", leading to a female officer being punched in the head.

Officers were called to Shoreham town centre at 10.30pm on Saturday to reports of a man vandalising a car in Upper Shoreham Road, Sussex Police said.

But when they tried to arrest him, a "large group of youths descended on the area and became aggressive towards the officers", the force added.

More officers were scrambled to the scene and the original suspect was later detained in Shoreham Beach Green.

Video footage obtained by the Brighton Argus showed several police vehicles in the town following the disorder last night.

The arrests were for a string of offences, including assaulting an emergency worker and violent disorder.

All remain in custody, with 13 of them aged between 14 and 17.

Chief Inspector Nick Bowman says the violence shown towards police was "totally unacceptable", and is appealing for witnesses to come forward.

He said: "Fortunately, our officers did not suffer any serious injuries in the incident, but we will not tolerate attacks such as this on emergency workers.

"Everyone, including parents and guardians, has a responsibility to ensure children and young people are following the current guidelines, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"We are keen to hear from anyone who saw the incident, in particular anyone who may have any video footage on their mobile phones", he added.

A dispersal order has been issued for Shoreham town centre until midnight on Monday in an effort to prevent large groups of young people from congregating in the area.

Anyone with any information can contact police online or by calling 101 quoting serial 1690 of 11/07.