ARMED police swooped in Brighton city centre this morning to reports that man had a gun.

Video footage shows police carrying automatic weapons running towards a man lying face-down on the floor with his arms outstretched.

One bystander said: "When I got into work at about 9.45am the area around the clock tower was blocked off by police.

"They had dogs and I saw two armed police officers taking a man in handcuffs away and putting him in a police car."

Police said: "Police were called to Western Road after a man was seen with what was believed to be a gun.

"The man was seen at 9.26am on Thursday (January 17) walking from Western Road into North Street and then into Queens Road. No threats were made.

"Queens Road was briefly closed and a man was arrested at 9.50am.

"A 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

"He remains in custody at this time."

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One person who works in Queen Street said: "I got into work and looked out of the window.

"Then I heard someone screaming telling people to get down and everybody in the street just split.

"We were very scared and unsure of what was going on.

"I could see a young boy who looked about 17 walking down the street carrying a gun.

"About eight police officers were waiting for him at the bottom of the street and when he saw them he got down on the floor of his own free will." 

Another shop worker on Queens Road said: "It was really quiet then I heard police outside speaking to somebody on the floor.

"I saw them all pointing their guns at the guy on the floor.

"Somebody told me it was a young person who had been carrying a gun down Queens Road.

"When it was happening, I looked out of my window and saw three police officers but then one of them told me to go back inside.

"I was worried somebody might be trying to rob the shop, but when I saw the police I felt safe because they were taking care of the situation."

But, some people felt the police were too forceful in their approach.

One Argus reader said: “This poor boy was walking with an air rifle in a sealed gun bag and police do this, it’s disgusting.

“I was in a shop talking to him beforehand and he was on way to get it fixed.

“I’ve got a video of the whole incident and I’m showing it to the police to make a formal complaint as they were too hard on this poor young man.”

Picture and video courtery of Jamie Reid/Twitter