POLICE have confirmed a man was arrested by armed police in the middle of a street this afternoon. 

Pictures of the incident began circulating shortly after midday this afternoon when a man was pinned to the ground by armed officers in Sutton Road, Southend. 

An Essex Police spokesman said: "We were called to concerns for the welfare of a man in Sutton Road, Southend at around 11.20am today (Wednesday, April 17).

"We attended and it was reported a man was seen in possession of a knife.

"A man has been detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act."

Danielle Smith, 22, who witnessed the incident, said: "I was driving past with my friend and from what I could see there was armed police detaining two men.

"One was inside the black BMW 4x4 with his hands on the dashboard and police were aiming their guns at him, and the other one in the pink top had been detained on the ground.

"It is a little bit worrying - I had children in the back of the car."