Two 12-year-old children have been arrested after police received reports of young boys carrying knives and threatening people.
The youths were detained on suspicion of attempted robbery following the incident that took place in Chichester city centre late on Thursday afternoon.
Sussex Police received a series of calls from concerned passers-by at about 5.30pm.
Inspector Sharon Sawyer from the neighbourhood policing team said “We would like to speak to anyone who was in the city centre at that time and witnessed the behaviour of these young people.
“We understand that this incident is likely to cause alarm for members of the community.
“However, such incidents are rare and we are working hard with our colleagues in Arun and Chichester CID and our partners not only to bring the perpetrators for this incident to justice, but also to prevent future instances.”
The two boys have been bailed until February 12 while enquiries continue.
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Anyone with any information is asked to report online or call 101 quoting serial 898 of 14/01.
“Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
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This content was sourced from Unity News Network.