A investigation by two councils and the police has uncovered more than a 1,000 vehicles abandoned by rogue parking operators in a boggy field near Gatwick Airport.
Trading standards teams from Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council, in conjunction with Sussex Police, found five companies operating illegally at the site.
The vehicles were found covered in mud, with some having their keys left in envelopes on the windscreens of the cars. Hundreds of other keys were also found in the boot of a car which was left open and unlocked.
Sergeant Darren Taylor said: ‘We visited the site with the district council and trading standards with the aim of exposing and taking firm action against these unscrupulous rogue companies.
‘I was disgusted but not overly surprised by the condition of the cars, because this appears to be an ongoing issue in the area. Some of the cars were stuck in thick mud and were unable to be towed away; let alone driven away.’