POLICE arrested 20 people on an evening of alcohol-fuelled disorder in York which left one man with a serious ear injury.

North Yorkshire Police said there were several fights on Saturday night in the George Hudson Street/Micklegate area, including one outside Popworld nightclub where the number of people involved was into double figures.

A spokesman said that a man was taken to hospital with a serious ear injury and a minor head injury after that incident, which happened at 8.40pm and led to the closure of George Hudson Street for more than an hour while the crime scene was taped off.

One person was arrested after the incident, who remained in police custody yesterday.

Deployment manager Paul Richardson said the disorder was related to the over-consumption of alcohol and was 'very disappointing.'

He added that one arrest had been made so far but inquiries were continuing.

He said extra officers had been on duty because it was a Saturday and there was a meeting at York Racecourse but the day had been relatively trouble free until 8pm, when the trouble started.

A force spokeswoman said that 20 people were arrested in York in the period up to midnight for a variety of offences, with a total of 48 arrests across the whole force area.

"We were extremely busy, with double the number of 999 calls compared to the night before."

Police control room staff tweeted last night: "Disgusting scenes in York on cctv. Yet again alcohol being abused and the violence erupts...Just watched a group of drunks start a fight in front of officers."

Some Press online readers have blamed racegoers coming into town after yesterday's meeting for the drunken violence but racecourse spokesman James Brennan said this afternoon that it took the licensing laws 'absolutely seriously,' insisted racegoers were not served drinks if they were drunk and suggested people had bought and consumed alcohol at on and off licences on their way in to the city centre after the meeting.

He added that there were no arrests at the racecourse, where there was a 'very pleasant' atmosphere.