Police have revealed some bins being “pinched” in Pennyburn are in fact being taken by the council.

North Ayrshire Council confirmed they have a policy which means bins which they believe have been left out too long – or ‘abandoned’ – are taken away.

Kilwinning Sgt Ben Brizell, who told community councillors last year he’d ‘never seen so many bin thefts’, said figures were affected by a number being removed by the council.

Sgt Brizell said: “We’ve had a lot of bin thefts reported, but we’re noticing a pattern, a lot of these bin thefts are in the Pennyburn area and the council are actively taking bins away that aren’t being uplifted by residents.

“While we know that youths have stolen and set fire to them, there has been a decrease in the fire-raising in Pennyburn. I’m being sent a weekly list now of bins that have been uplifted by the council.”

Cllr Donald Reid said: “Some of the bin thefts have to be associated with, I have to say, some folk being lazy.

“Or in some cases they don’t recycle and they want an extra black bin but they’re not prepared to pay the extra money. So they just ‘find’ one and they then have two bins in their garden and it saves them recycling.

The council confirmed they were taking bins being left out – with this mostly prevalent in Pennyburn.

A spokesperson said: “This can clearly cause other residents in the neighbourhood to feel frustrated as it makes the whole area look untidy. Having bins left out on the street for long periods of time can lead to bin theft, contamination, fly-tipping and obstruction.

“If we believe a bin to be abandoned, our team write to the household reminding them that bins should be collected from the kerbside and stored within their property. We only remove bins if correspondence with the household has failed.

“Once a bin is removed, we store it and should the resident contact us we will arrange to give the bin back. This gives us an opportunity to have a discussion with them about the practical steps they can take with their bins’ storage to avoid the issue arising again in the future. There’s no charge.”