RESIDENTS are fuming after vandals defaced and scratched cars and slashed the tyres.

Vehicles parked in Aldrington Place, Harmsworth Crescent and Hardwick Road in Hangleton were defaced with felt tip pens and gouged along the side.

One car had all four tyres slashed.

Beth Mitchell had her car scrawled on. It is the second time her family has been targeted by vandals in the area.

The 23-year-old said: “When we saw it I was devastated. My mum’s car was drawn on with permanent marker and scratched which upset me as it was my grandmother’s car who sadly passed away last year. It felt like they damaged a part of her memory.

“My boyfriend’s car was also scratched on January 25. My boyfriend is unsure whether he should try and cover it as we are afraid it will just keep happening.”

Beth said the vandalism had only become an issue this year.

She said: “It never used to be a common problem, it used to be relatively calm and people respected each other’s property.

“My boyfriend and I work hard for the things we have.

“We work as carers for children and young people with special needs, so we try to keep the car looking presentable.”

City councillor Dawn Barnett represents the Hangleton and Knoll ward.

She said she, as well as fellow councillors Tony Janio and Nick Lewry, had received many emails from residents concerned about the growing problem in the area surrounding St Helen’s Church.

She said: “Some of the cars have been scrawled on and others have had gouges scratched down them.

“It’s just malicious criminal damage. We have lovely people in Hangleton, it’s just a few mindless vandals that are spoiling it for everybody.

“Somebody must know who is doing it.

“If they don’t want to report it, they can tell me and I will do it for them.”

The vandalism has been reported to police.

A force spokesman said: “Police are investigating after several parked cars in Harmsworth Crescent, Hangleton, Hove, were damaged by being defaced with a permanent marker pen. The vehicles, which included a silver Honda Jazz and a silver Vauxhall Zafira, were attacked overnight between Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7.”

Police are asking anyone who may have other relevant information to call them on 101, quoting serial 1051 of 05/04.