A man has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer after a disturbance at a Christmas lights switch-on event.

Crowds had gathered in Hanningtons Lane in Brighton ahead of the festive event yesterday, when a man was seen being pursued by police.

Officers had been called to a disturbance in nearby New Road at around 5.45pm where a man had fled the scene.

The Argus: A man and a police officer were seen engaged in a scuffle during the eventA man and a police officer were seen engaged in a scuffle during the event (Image: Supplied)

Minutes later a man was detained by police in Hanningtons Lane with the assistance of a member of the public.

The switch-on went ahead as planned after the incident.

A witness at the scene said: “I had only been there to enjoy the Christmas celebrations when all of a sudden there was a commotion in the crowd.

“A police officer and the man were involved in a scuffle in the courtyard in front of all the people who had turned up for the switch-on.

“I heard everyone gasp when the man punched the police officer and tried to leave the scene.

“Thankfully, someone else who had been at the event stopped him and more officers arrived to arrest him.

“More police officers ran over to help soon after, pinning the man down as they arrested him.

“Eventually, the event started - the carol singers were singing as the police took the man away.

“I was pleased that the switch-on was able to go ahead as planned afterwards, but I have to admit to being a bit shaken up after seeing that play out in front of families with their children.”

A 30-year-old man from Worthing was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply, using threatening or abusive words or behaviour and causing harassment, alarm or distress which was homophobically aggravated.

He remains in police custody.