A POLICE chief has warned that those responsible will "have to face the consequences of their actions" after a large group of children attacked officers.

A total of 16 people including a 14-year-old have now been arrested after a female officer was punched in the head as Shoreham town centre descended into disorder on Saturday night.

Officers were pushed to the ground and set upon as they responded to reports of a young man damaging cars in Upper Shoreham Road shortly after 10.30pm.

WATCH>>>Police clash with 'group of youths' in Shoreham

A witness said they were shocked to see the huge police presence in the town and described the scene as "absolute madness".

The Argus:

In a statement yesterday, Sussex Police said at least 13 of those arrested were juveniles. The force has now said all of the 16 detained were "young people".

Now West Sussex Superintendent Miles Ockwell has blasted the group for their "unacceptable behaviour" and told the parents and guardians of those involved they "have the responsibility to ensure their children are not causing disruptive behaviour".

But he stressed that the incident involved a "minority of young people".

Supt Ockwell said: "Our officers should be able to carry out their lawful duty without being intimidated or assaulted. A total of 16 arrests were made and those who are identified as being involved will have to face the consequences of their actions.

The Argus:

READ MORE>>>Four teens and man arrested as police called to large fight involving weapons - bat and knife found nearby 

“We appreciate the concern this behaviour from a minority of group of people is causing within the community and additional resources will be deployed to areas where groups are known to gather to deter such behaviour in the future.

“We have a strong working relationship with local authorities and as of a result of this, two boys from the local area have recently been issued a Community Behaviour Order by the courts.

“Together as partner agencies we can, and we will, use a wide variety of powers, including criminalisation whereby other options are inappropriate, to tackle those who persistently cause ant-social behaviour and disorder.

The Argus:

READ MORE>>>'Absolute madness': Female officer punched in the head as officers attacked by 'large group of youths'

“We want people to go out and enjoy themselves in a way that is safe and doesn’t impact others and I would like to commend the young people who have, and continue to, behave themselves during the Covid-19 lockdown.

"Parents and guardians also have the responsibility to ensure their children are not causing disruptive behaviour, which we will take action against.

The Argus:

“My message to those involved is simple. If you behave in an anti-social manner, you will be held to account. Your choice to engage in poor behaviour could have a lasting effect on your future and this is not something we would like to see.”

All 16 young people arrested have been released on police bail with strict conditions.