Frightened mothers feared their children could be infected with HIV after used needles were posted through their letterboxes.

Parents living in the Hurstwood block of flats in Findon Road, Whitehawk, Brighton, discovered the needles hanging inside their letterboxes on Saturday.

Brighton and Hove City Council has since boarded up the boxes with wood – but residents have demanded to move home over fears for their safety.

Emma Macdonald, 29, said she feared her 16-month-old daughter would be infected with HIV if she managed to get hold of a needle.

She said: “We could catch HIV or anything from it. It’s horrible and there was still a substance in it when the police took it away.

“We know who the person is but the police haven’t done anything. I asked him to keep his dogs quiet one day after they had been barking in the early hours of the morning. The next morning he came outside my front door and howled like a dog at 3am. I’m terrified.”

Neighbour Shanice Dewdley, 20, returned home on Friday to find blood splattered on her front door.

The following morning her partner found a used needle hanging through the letterbox.

Miss Dewdley, who has a six-month-old son, said: “I called the police straight away and they came and took it. It is disgusting. My son doesn’t need this kind of stuff going on.

“We know who it is but the council and the police shrug it off. I want the council to move me somewhere else and they just don’t want to know. No one will even come down and speak to me. I’m scared to live in my own home.”

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “We were sorry to hear of this incident and took swift action to board up Ms Macdonald’s letterbox as soon as she made us aware of the situation.

“There was also a problem with the entry door to her block, but we have now fixed that.

“We have worked closely with the police on this incident and are keeping the situation under close review.

“We are also aware of Ms Macdonald’s wish to move and have advised her on how she might go about this.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “On Saturday, March 29, we received a report that a needle had been pushed through a letterbox at a flat in Hurstwood, Findon Road, Brighton. The needle did not contain any substance.

“Officers ensured its safe removal and dis- cussed the circumstances with the occupant. No arrest has been made.”