Community support officers were still posted outside Wetherspoons in Spring Garden Street today after a large fight on Thursday left one man in hospital in critical condition with serious head injuries.
Police are now appealing for anyone who was in the Sir Richard Owen Wetherspoons pub yesterday afternoon to come forward with information.
Police were called to the scene after receiving a call to the disturbance at about 4.15pm where a large group of men had been fighting.
Although the main police station is on the same street as the pub, police report the fight had dispersed by the time they had arrived. A 45-year-old man from Preston with serious head injuries was found unconscious at the scene and taken to Royal Lancaster Infirmary, where he is currently in a critical condition.
A large number of the people involved left the scene following the fight and at this stage 17 men have been arrested on suspicion of affray.
"Although we have already made a number of arrests, the investigation is still in its early stages," comments Acting Detective Superintendent Justin Srivastava, "and we would appeal for anyone who was in the Sir Richard Owen pub yesterday to come forward and contact police.
"It is unknown at this stage what caused the fight to break out and we are continuing to carry out enquiries locally and speaking to witnesses to try and establish what happened.
"This is a complex investigation which occurred on a busy day in Lancaster and I would urge anyone who has not yet spoken to police, who may have any information about the people involved in this disturbance or who may have seen anyone involved leaving the scene."
• Anyone with any information can contact police on 08451 25 35 45 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.