POLICE are investigating a drive-by shooting in a residential street.

The gun shots were so loud, some residents thought a car had crashed into a house in May Road, Brighton, in the early hours of Thursday.

Officers believe the attackers used a shotgun to fire at the windows of a first floor flat at around 1am.

Neighbours described the “horrifying” noise and the sound of a car speeding off.

When they looked outside they saw smashed glass and holes apparently made by shotgun pellets. The windows and damaged frame were since boarded up.

One man said: “I woke up and I heard this smashing noise.

“I honestly thought a car had crashed into one of the houses.”

Another said: “I heard these two loud bangs.

“I sat up in bed with a start and wondered what it was. I could already hear the car speeding off as I went to the window to see what was happening.

“It was really scary. A lot of neighbours want to keep out of it and are worried about what has happened.”

The home – which police said is privately let – was empty at the time of the incident and no one was injured.

Some neighbours complained officers had taken too long to attend the incident, with one claiming they phoned immediately after the attack but were told the force did not have enough resources available to attend until later in the morning.

But a Sussex Police spokesman said officers were only notified of the incident at 7.50am and attended 32 minutes later.

The news comes as several residents said there had been an increase in crime in the street in the past year, with concerns about drug dealing, noise disturbances late at night, vandalism and other anti-social behaviour.

One couple said: “When we moved here, it was a lovely place to live – friendly, quiet.

“But now it has got really bad. There is a lot of activity in the street and a lot of problems.

“We love our house but we think we will have to move because of it.”

Staff at Madeira Garage in the road arrived for work at about 9am on Thursday to find police in the street making house calls. They said they have heard the road “comes alive at night”.

Another woman said: “I’ve seen what I think are drug exchanges in the street.

“Groups of people hang around, people get into fights, cars are damaged. It makes you feel unsafe.”

There were 41 crimes reported in May Road in the last year, the latest police.uk statistics for May 2016 to May 2017 reveal.

Most of the incidents were anti-social behaviour but also include reports of violence, vandalism and robbery.

Any witnesses should call police on 101 quoting 225 of 10/08.


41 reports of crime in May Road, Brighton in a year:

2016:                                                     2017:

May – 3                                                January – 3

June – 5                                                February – 2

July – 1                                                 March – 2

August – 2                                             April – 3

September – 9                                       May – 8

October – 0

November – 1

December – 2