The hunt is on for fly-tippers who drove across graves in a cemetery to dump tonnes of waste on land on the edge of Hastings.
The culprits drove through Hastings Cemetery over unmarked graves, narrowly dodging headstones, before tipping waste over the cemetery wall into a neighbouring field over the border into Rother, a council spokesman said.
Rubbish strewn about included windows and doors, household and bathroom furniture, carpets and other assorted waste, while officers also discovered the burnt-out remnants of previous fly-tips.
A white flatbed truck was seen leaving the scene at the time of the incident, at around 3.30pm on Wednesday, December 5, and was seen at the cemetery again on Tuesday, December 11.
Rother District Council, Hastings Borough Council and Sussex Police are urging people in the area to be on their guard and for anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
Cllr Ian Hollidge, Rother District Council cabinet member for environment, said: “Fly-tipping is a serious offence in itself but to drive over people’s graves to dump rubbish is a despicable act.
“The nature of the waste found suggests that this is not an isolated incident but a large-scale operation by unscrupulous individuals, presumably for financial gain.
“We investigate all incidents of fly-tipping and won’t hesitate to bring a prosecution where necessary, with offenders facing up to five years behind bars or an unlimited fine on conviction.”
Cllr Colin Fitzgerald, Hastings Borough Council lead councillor for the environment, said: “The cemetery should be a place of quiet reflection and I’m shocked by the complete lack of decency shown by this individual.
“I’d urge people in the area to be on their guard and report anything suspicious, and to get in touch with the appropriate authorities if they have any information on this appalling act.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or Rother District Council on 01424 787550.