Police are desperately trying to trace the owners of over 100 abandoned vehicles that have been left with an unapproved parking company called Gatwick First Parking.
Over the last few days there have been numerous reports to the police of passengers arriving at the airport only to find their vehicles have not been returned to them and in some cases have vanished.
Sussex Police want passengers to realise that this is a civil matter but they are doing all they can to look into the situation with a view to facilitating the return of the vehicles to the owners.
Passengers who used the company found that their website was terminated and no-one was answering calls which immediately led to raised concerns.
The police also stress that anyone planning to leave their car at the airport is urged to ensure they check the Gatwick Airport approved parking operators list.
A spokesman for Gatwick Airport said: “Whilst we recognise the distress and inconvenience caused, and sympathise with any of our passengers that have been affected, Gatwick Airport has no relationship with Gatwick First Parking as it is not an officially approved off-airport parking operator. Any passengers affected by the company’s closure should contact Trading Standards who are investigating the matter.
“Gatwick Airport strongly recommends that passengers use official on-airport parking or companies registered with Gatwick’s off-airport approved parking operators’ scheme. More information about the scheme can be found at www.gatwickairport.com/parking/other-parking-options/operator-scheme/.”
A representative from an approved operator who wished to remain anonymous said;
“This is shocking and disgusting. Companies that trade like this give our industry a bad name and affect our business. I am scared to say that this won’t be the last time it may happen.”
Sussex Police have assured us that when more information is available for those who have cars with Gatwick First Parking they will inform us immediately.
If you fear your car may be one of those abandoned then please get in touch with the police on 101.
We will keep you updated with the latest information as and when it becomes available.