A swathe of east Brighton has been declared a no-go zone by a major supermarket chain which is refusing to deliver shopping to homes after staff were attacked.

An area covering all of Whitehawk and stretching to Bristol Gardens, in Kemp Town, no longer receives deliveries from Asda because the supermarket is worried about its drivers' safety.

The retailer has refused to reveal details of the incidents other than to say it had involved "abusive behaviour towards staff".

Asda delivers to homes across the country, including notorious crime hotspots in Manchester's Moss Side and Liverpool's Croxteth estates.

And a spokesman for Britain's second largest supermarket chain said it had only banned deliveries to two other places in the country in the last seven years.

But the move has been attacked by residents in the blacklisted area who say they are being victimised because of the faults of the few.

An employee at the Brighton Marina branch, which is responsible for dispatching online orders for the city, admitted she was shocked by the decision.

She said: "Three or four staff at the store cannot have things delivered to their homes and I do not think it is right."

Dawn Newcomb, 49, of Whitehawk Way, is a regular customer at the store and said she felt it was unfair the whole area was being tarred with the same brush She said: "The majority of people who live close to us are very nice people.

"I think this is a bit over the top and think we get punished for living in Whitehawk."

Whitehawk is one of the most deprived areas of the country and has a high proportion of disabled and elderly residents.

But crime has been falling and ward councillor Gill Mitchell said it was a quickly-improving area of the city.

She said: "I understand that Asda have got their staff to think about.

"It is really regrettable that residents are being inconvenienced because of the mindless behaviour of a few individuals.

"I hope that this will be dealt with as quickly as possible."

A 76-year-old woman from Roedean Road, who asked not named, tried to order some shopping from Asda after leaving hospital but was told the store would not deliver.

She said: "The drivers should be able to go about their work without being attacked but it is a problem for me and must be very difficult for the disabled.

"I do think they are being over cautious."

Maxwell Vaughan has been left housebound by criminals who stole his electric buggy from outside his house in Cooksbridge Road, Brighton.

The disabled former chairman of Whitehawk Residents Association said: "Whitehawk has one of the biggest number of disabled people in all of the south and my honest opinion is that they are breaking the discrimination act."

A spokesman for ASDA said there was no time frame for when deliveries would recommence but added some areas may receive shopping before others and that night-time visits to some districts could stop altogether.

He said: "Home shopping is an important part of our offering and we are disappointed we have had to suspend service but we take the welfare of our staff very seriously and we had to put this suspension in place and review our next steps.

"We are not saying that we will never go there again but we have to ask what risk there may be to staff."

Have you been affected by the ban? Call the newsdesk on 01273 544519, email news@theargus.co.uk or leave your comments below.