FEARS of a robbery gang targeting gay people were raised with police chiefs at a public meeting.

It follows reports of a spate of robberies committed against people leaving venues around St James’s Street, Brighton.

In one attack, a victim was reportedly left “critically ill in hospital”.

Gscene editor James Ledward told the meeting that as many as 20 attacks have been reported to the magazine in recent weeks.

The robberies have been directed towards people leaving gay venues late at night, and it has sparked concern that a gang is deliberately targeting LGBT people.

The Brighton and Hove LGBT Community Safety Forum was forced to scrap its annual general meeting on Wednesday, and instead hosted the public meeting so people could raise their concerns.

Mr Ledward said victims have approached the LGBT magazine because they say information has been reported to the police, but not followed up.

They say they have been told that because of poor CCTV or no CCTV evidence, investigations into their cases have been closed.

Chief Inspector Andy Bennett, Police Sergeant Karen Osborne, and partnership manager Karon Chamberlain attended the meeting.

Chief Insp Bennett said a problem was that many incidents have not been reported to police at all.

He said he wants to boost patrols in areas like St James’s Street, where people fear crimes are taking place, and said both uniform and plain clothes policing can help cut down on crime and make people feel safer.

But Mr Ledward said reports had been made.

He said: “Where trust and confidence disappears is when people in the community think you are not taking this seriously.

“We have been working for ten years to get people to go to the police, and now they are coming back and saying the police are not interested, with cases closed after just two days.”

One audience member felt the police were only offering “meaningless platitudes” and left the meeting.

It was claimed that people are scared to go out.