OVER the past five years council officers have dealt with a surge in reports of abandoned vehicles in the region.

And they are currently trying to establish why.

The number of vehicles reported to the local authority has escalated over the past five years from 53 in 2012 to a total of 255 for the first ten months of last year.

The amount of reports jumped from 2014's figure of 55 to 112 the following year.

And the rapid increase in call-outs continued with 189 reports made during 2016.

If ownership is not immediately established all vehicles with an estimated value of less than £1,000 are scrapped, while others are held in storage for up to seven days in an effort to trace the owners.

During 2012 only four vehicles were scrapped, but in 2016 that number had grown to 24.

It is understood a significant proportion of the increase in reports of abandoned vehicles is made to the council by Police Scotland and local housing associations.

A spokesman for Scottish Borders Council told us: "Officers are trying to establish why the increase has occurred over the past few years.

"We believe some of the reports will be down to vehicles causing a nuisance."

The local authority confirmed that it hadn't issued any fines to the owners of abandoned vehicles during the past five years.