A SECURITY guard was spat at and hit across the head after confronting a suspected shoplifter at Salisbury Christmas Market.

Police say it happened at about 8.10pm yesterday (December 4) and a security guard approached a group of teenagers and asked them to leave the market, as he believed they had been involved in a shoplifting incident earlier in the evening.

One teenager spat in the direction of the security guard and another approached him from behind and hit him across the side of the head with a sharp object.

The security guard, a man in his 60s, was knocked to the ground and suffered bleeding to his left ear.

READ: Carol the nutcracker is missing from Salisbury BID Christmas trail>>>

Officers attended the scene and carried out a search of the area, arresting a suspect near the railway station.

A 17-year-old boy from Southampton was arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Community co-ordinator Acting Sergeant Alan Cromwell, from Wiltshire South Community Policing Team, said: “We have been made aware of a small group of young people who have been out in Salisbury in the evenings causing trouble around the Christmas market.

“This anti-social behaviour and criminal damage is proving disruptive and frustrating for local people and visitors, who are trying to enjoy the festivities.

“I want to reassure the public that we are actively working to crackdown on this unacceptable behaviour and have been working with the Youth Offending Team to tackle the problem.

“We are also carrying out extra patrols in the city centre in the evenings to hopefully provide a deterrent to the small minority who appear to want to spoil the fun of the wider community.”

Anyone with information about the assault on the security guard is asked to contact PC Hollie Elliott on 101, quoting crime reference 54180115027.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.