CITY residents have been accused of showing a “complete disregard” for Peebles by travelling to the town and breaching lockdown rules.

The chairman of Peebles Community Council says visitors from Edinburgh were spoken to by police at the weekend.

Les Turnbull said: “I am disappointed that the police did not take more positive action to prosecute these offenders.”

Relaxed lockdown measures were introduced last Friday (May 29), allowing Scots to meet up with one other household outdoors as long as the total gathering contains no more than eight people and everyone stays two metres apart.

Travelling short distances for leisure and exercise is permitted, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recommending that no-one goes further than five miles from their home.

However, Mr Turnbull says police spoke to visitors from Edinburgh at the weekend after reports that three vehicles had parked up in Hay Lodge Park, Peebles, next to Fotheringham Bridge.

Mr Turnbull said: “It would appear that the occupants of these vehicles had removed the chain securing the gate in South Parks Industrial Estate to gain access before parking up and erecting what appeared to be a makeshift toilet behind a screen.”

Police are understood to have issued advice to the group, who claimed they had found the gate open. They packed up and left soon after being spoken to.

Mr Turnbull said: “It beggars belief that these visitors from Edinburgh feel they can drive to Peebles, go through a gate which is chained, and park up on what is clearly park land.

“To then erect what seems to be a toilet on the grass near Fotheringham Bridge really is a step too far.

“Where any of this human waste was dumped, is a question I would like answering.”

Mr Turnbull says he has asked council officials to make sure the gate is secured with a “heavy padlock”.

The community leader believes misbehaving visitors are guilty of showing a “complete disregard for the regulations and the people of Peebles”.

He added: “As the town begins to recover from this crisis, we do want and need visitors to come and enjoy what we have to offer, but is it too much to ask for them to be respectful and responsible?”

Chief Inspector Stuart Reid said: "The current regulations are clear: people should only leave the house for very limited purposes, for example for basic necessities, for exercise or recreation, for medical needs or travelling for work which cannot be done from home.

"We are asking people to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to protect the NHS and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.

"Our officers will continue to engage with the public, explain the legislation and guidance and encourage compliance.

"We will use enforcement as a last resort only where there is a clear breach of the legislation."