Shocked shoppers looked on as a man was arrested outside H&M in Western Road yesterday after reports he had a knife – but when officers took it out of his pocket, they discovered it was just a toy.
The man was first reported to Brighton Police after passers-by saw, alarmed by his drunken behaviour, saw what they thought was a knife.
But when the truth was discovered, the man was simply given an on the spot fine for a public order offence.
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “A man was given a fixed penalty notice under Section 5 of the Public Order Act after he was reported to have a knife in Western Road, Brighton on Friday afternoon (March 11).
“He had been spotted, apparently very intoxicated and singing, just after 2pm. Police attended and he was found to have a toy knife in his jeans, which had been spotted by passers-by alarmed by his behaviour.”