YOUTHS clashed in a massive 50 person street brawl during which a police officer was attacked and seven people were arrested.

Overnight on Sunday Sussex Police received 20 separate calls from members of the public as a fight erupted in Dorsten Square, Bewbush, Crawley.

Baseball bats and stones were used as weapons and two people are believed to have been hit by a car.

Police are investigating the possibility the brawl was due to a spat between two rival factions.

Six people were arrested on suspicion of affray and at least one on suspicion of assault on a police officer.

A number of people required hospital treatment, but there are not thought to be any serious injuries at this time.

Chief Inspector Justina Beeken, Crawley district policing commander, said: "There has been growing tension among this particular group, but I would like to stress that we are not connecting it with the stabbing incident in Bewbush last Thursday. We are certain that the two incidents are not related.

"However, I will not tolerate this sort of disorder and my officers are working to deal with those responsible and identify others involved. I am determined that we will put an end to this unrest and I am appealing to members of the local community, who are understandably concerned and who do feel threatened, to help us with our enquiries.

"We are working with our partners in Crawley Borough Council and from other agencies to tackle the issues that have caused this incident. We are appealing for calm, and for members of the community to assist us in resolving tensions.

All of the arrested people come from Crawley. A 24-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy were arrested on suspicion of affray.

A 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent and violent disorder.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of threats to kill and a 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

A 48-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

Anyone with information should call 101 or email quoting serial 1628 of 27/07 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.