A "DISTURBING" video shows the moment a young woman was arrested at a university campus – and police have defended their actions.

The University of Sussex has raised concerns with Sussex Police after the "young woman of colour" was arrested at the campus in Falmer during the early hours of Thursday.

Footage appears to show the woman being forcefully held against the side of a police car by an officer, as he handcuffed her.

The force said they had been called by university security staff who reported a gathering of about 60 people at student accommodation on campus.

The Argus: The University of SussexThe University of Sussex

A spokesman for Sussex Police said the video clips "do not show the full circumstances of the entire incident", and that two officers had been assaulted after a small group had "become hostile" when officers asked the gathering to disperse.

Today the university's Vice Chancellor Adam Tickell sent an email to all students which described "potentially extreme incidents involving the police on campus".

He wrote:"Very disturbing footage has been shared appearing to involve a young woman of colour, and after reviewing the video, I urgently raised our concerns at the most senior level with Sussex Police.

"They have acted quickly and are now reviewing the incident. We need to let that review take place.

"I am genuinely very concerned about this incident, both in terms of the welfare of our students and the effect on good community relations."

Police said they arrested a 20-year-old woman for breaching Covid-19 regulations and for refusing to provide her details, and she was placed in a police vehicle.

She was further arrested on a drugs offence but escaped the vehicle and was "re-apprehended" by officers.

Following a discussion she agreed to give her details and was de-arrested, while the substance was sent for analysis.

A 19-year-old man was arrested and charged with two counts of assaulting a police officer and will face court.

The Argus:

Sussex Police said: "We are aware of video footage being circulated after police were called by university security staff to reports of a gathering of about 60 people, in breach of coronavirus legislation, at the University of Sussex student accommodation in Falmer at 1.30am on Thursday.

"Upon arrival of the first two police officers, while the vast majority of the crowd dispersed, a small group of individuals became hostile during which the two officers were assaulted.

"We understand the concerns being raised by those viewing these short video clips but they do not show the full circumstances of the entire incident.

"Our officers will always seek to engage and encourage people to comply before moving to use lawful and proportionate force, as a last resort.

"We are liaising with the University of Sussex as to the circumstances and to provide reassurance that our priority remains the safety of the public, as well that of our officers and staff."

A University of Sussex spokesperson said: “We are very concerned about this incident, both in terms of the young woman concerned and the effect on good community relations.

"Yesterday, we immediately shared the video with Sussex Police to discuss our serious concerns as a matter of urgency and we remain in close contact. It is important Sussex Police are reviewing this, alongside additional footage of the incident, and it will be important to understand the full circumstances.

"The welfare of all our students is our utmost priority and we are committed to this. If anyone is directly affected by these issues, please contact the Student Life Centre.”