Residents of an Ilkeston street have been reassured by a housing trust and police that known sex offenders have not been living near to them.
Concerned neighbours in part of the town contacted the Advertiser, saying they had been told that a sex offender had moved into a house on their street when a housing association signed a contract to rent the property.
Soon after the house was the target of a vandalism attack.
A neighbour, who cannot be named, said: “We were told that there was a sex offender living in the house and the next day someone vandalised it.
“It’s a massive worry because there are children living at and visiting my house all the time.
“I want to know that there hasn’t been a neighbour taking photographs and looking into my garden where children played all summer .
“We contacted the police and the accommodation provider and they pretty much told us to calm down, but how can you having been told a paedophile could have been living next door?”
When the Advertiser contacted the housing association in charge of the property it said that sex offenders had not, and will not, be living at the address.
A spokesman said: “As a result of a rumour a property was vandalised.
“We did speak to residents at the time.”
Inspector Nick Daines said: “We would urge members of the public not to act on the basis of rumour and local gossip.”
As well as the rumours residents are also concerned about criminals being put up at the address.
“This is a family neighbourhood, it always has been until this came along,” one said.
“We can’t sleep at night, it’s caused me health problems.
“We can’t even let the kids out to play anymore, I want to sell the house but no one will want to buy it with that nearby.”