Vandals went on a window-smashing spree in the centre of Brighton early today.

At least ten shop fronts and car windows were broken in The Lanes, causing thousands of pounds damage.

Well-known fashion shops including Mottoo and Oasis were targeted.

Oasis assistant manager Emma Hackney said: "It was such a shock when I arrived this morning. We have not had much trouble around here recently. I could not believe it."

Police today were checking shop security cameras to identify the culprits.

They appealed for anyone who saw anything suspicious to call 0845 6070 999.

Saeid Samandi, who owns Mottoo, said damage to his menswear shop in Middle Street would cost more than £1,000.

He said he would try to arrange a meeting with other traders to call on Brighton and Hove Council and Sussex Police to provide better security in the area.

He said: "We either need gates at the entrance to the Lanes or security cameras.

"I wanted to put up shutters on the front of the shop but permission was refused because they said they looked ugly.

"But vandalism is becoming a joke and we have got to do something. I feel like shooting those responsible.

"People come out of pubs late at night, out of their heads, and do this sort of thing.

"We are trying to make a living and keep the area nice for shoppers and visitors. We must stop these scumbags."

The Lanes area has suffered a spate of vandalism recently.

Earlier this month six fires were started in the narrow streets by a man who set fire to piles of rubbish outside shops and pubs.

Police think the same man was responsible for a rubbish blaze outside Hanningtons the previous week.