ROGUE groups and individuals are emptying council grit bins before going on to charge for clearing paths and driveways.
And their actions were this week described by police as “despicable”.
During the recent heavy snowfall one incident at Chay Blyth Place was noted while other instances around other areas of the town were also witnessed.
And although no official report has been received by the police, Inspector Paula Clark strongly criticised those responsible and called on townsfolk to remain vigilant.
She told the Hawick News: “When we have severe weather like we’ve had, this is a time when people pull together and help each other out.
“However, there are individuals who would capitalise on such situations and attempt to make money from vulnerable people in our community.
“If people are removing salt from the salt bins for the right reasons, fine. If individuals who just want to fleece folk are emptying them, that’s despicable.” Local councillor Stuart Marshall revealed he has received several calls from constituents on the matter and agreed that, during a time when everything possible was being done to deal with the wintry weather, this was something which could not be tolerated.
He said: “This type of behaviour is clearly not only unacceptable it is also extremely irresponsible. “Many people rely on these bins, especially those folk who’s homes are near steep roads and footpaths as in the Chay Blyth Place area.
“The council are doing their best to keep grit bins full and it’s very annoying to hear of such stories.”
Inspector Clark urged anyone who is approached by these people, or who witnesses them in the act, to contact the police.
She added: “People need to report this type of activity to us. If a car or van is being used, get the registration number and pass that to us as well.
“I would ask that, with the likelihood that Arctic blast is about to hit us again, look out for each other and let us know of any situations where you think this type of activity is going on.”