A POLICE probe has been launched after a ‘hit and run’ accident destroyed part of a monument honouring a famous son of Selkirk.

On Thursday, officers received a report of “extensive damage” having been caused to one of the concrete pillars securing railings at the Mungo Park monument.

It appears that a vehicle collided with the pillar and in the process “smashed it to smithereens”, with the driver then leaving the scene without reporting the incident.

Scottish Borders Council staff tidied up the area ahead of a procession past the monument on Friday, just prior to the town’s Appointment Night concert.

But in the long-term it is believed the stone pillar will need to be replaced.

The monument is located at the junction of Back Row and High Street and it is believed that the damage was caused earlier on Thursday.

Alistair Pattullo, chair of Selkirk Community Council, described the incident as “a real shame”.

He said: “Someone has collided with one of the corner posts that holds the railings up and smashed it to smithereens. They must have given it a right skelp but there was no witnesses so we are in the dark as to what actually happened.

“This is a solid stone pillar and it’s been smashed to bits. It’s a real shame and it’s going to take some replacing because it’s a solid piece of what looks like sandstone.  It’s like a hit and run really, they’ve hit it and then gone off without reporting it and that’s really annoying.”

The monument is a tribute to explorer Mungo Park, who set sail in 1795 in search of the Niger.

Park spent his childhood in the Yarrow Valley and Selkirk before studying at Edinburgh Universality, where he qualified as a surgeon.

Anyone with information on the incident can call Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number 0498 of April 29, 2022.