A NAKED man found lying in the street bleeding was detained by 11 police officers before firearms were seized.

The 48-year-old was seen running up and down St George's Mews, Brighton, on Friday morning smashing his head against the walls of houses before falling into the road.

When police arrived at the scene at 8am he rushed into his house nearby, where officers found a BB gun and a decommissioned firearm.

The incident has raised questions over whether there is enough care available for vulnerable people with mental health conditions.

The man had to be restrained by seven officers, with four more attending as back up, which a police spokesman said was not unusual to make sure the person involved was safe.

He was "subdued", given first aid and taken to hospital before being arrested on suspicion of possession of firearms, the spokesman added.

Forensics teams then searched the house to make sure the weapons were safe and the scene was secure.

The man was later released from hospital where he was treated for a head injury and de-arrested before being handed into the care of mental health services.

Some eyewitnesses claim he was manhandled when he was held down by officers but health professionals have defended the actions and said the situation was dealt with appropriately.

A crew from production company Renegade, who are filming the second series of documentary The Nick, which shadows Sussex Police, recorded the incident.

Kaly Kanauros, 44, left her house to buy a pint of milk when she saw her neighbour running up and down the street shouting.

She said: "It was really disturbing and horrific. He was bashing his head against the wall and then flipping back and falling head first on the floor. He was covered in blood.

"I've lived here six years and this sort of thing has never happened before.

"He's very sweet and keeps himself to himself and always says hello to my dog George when we walk past. I hope he is ok.

"There were so many police officers here - at one point there was about 15 cars. I didn't agree with the fact they were filming the whole thing."

Superintendent James Collis said: "The man required subduing due to his mental health and his persistent attempts, both before police intervention and during, to self-harm."

Sussex Partnership Trust, the mental health body for the county, said due to patient confidentiality they could not confirm or deny what treatment he was currently receiving or if he was known to professionals.


DISTURBING and unsettling.

Those were the words witnesses used to describe the scene in St George’s Mews on Friday morning when a distressed, vulnerable man ran around the road naked attempting to severely injure himself.

Everyone was worried for his welfare and some said they felt at a loss of how to help without potentially putting themselves in danger.

He was detained when 11 police officers were called out and, although initially arrested on suspicious of possession of firearms, was later handed over to the care of a mental health team.

It is the latest in a series of incidents which has raised questions over whether those in crisis have the care, support and guidance they need.

Just three weeks ago a man covered in blood brandished a large kitchen knife in Oxford Street, Brighton, and began cutting himself.

Witnesses called the police, others broke into tears while some fled in fear at the sight of the incident on the busy street at lunchtime.

In May Matthew Daley was found guilty of manslaughter but cleared of murder after stabbing great grandfather Don Lock 39 times on the side of the road after a shunt between their cars in July 2015.

The 35-year-old denied murder, claiming diminished responsibility on the grounds of his mental health problems.

He had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder but doctors now believe he also had paranoid schizophrenia.

A trial heard how Daley’s mother had pleaded with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for her son to be sectioned over fears for his safety and that of others. The organisation apologised for their failings and said their care of Daley could have been better.

Also in 2015, student Janet Muller escaped from Mill View Hospital where she was being treated for mental health problems - to her death.

She was burned alive in the boot of a hired car and Christopher Jeffrey-Shaw was found guilty of manslaughter but cleared of murder.

Andy Winter, chief executive of Brighton Housing Trust, fears funding cuts could see an increase in incidents and thinks more could be done.

He said: “Most services are struggling with a reduction in budgets, and I fear increasingly there will be holes in the safety net for people on the margins of society. This could be helped by having more emergency bed spaces for those who have no way of looking after themselves.

“We have detected quite a spike in the number of people self-harming. It’s a national phenomenon – there is a general sense of hopelessness and we are living in such uncertain times.

“People living in temporary accommodation are desperate to see an improvement in their life.

“There are services available for homeless people with mental health problems and there’s some excellent joint working between the Sussex Partnership, the council, the trust and the police who also need to be recognised for the very positive role they play in protecting people from self-harm and suicide. Could more be done? Of course.”

There have been some improvements – last year Prime Minister Theresa May, in her former role as Home Secretary, pledged £15 million to keep mentally ill people out of police cells and ban children from being detained.

Now officers should hand anyone with mental health problems over to a team of professionals rather than lock them in a cell. Mental health nurses also started to join police on the beat in a pilot project launched in the county last year.