Residents in Gretna Green were awoken by the sound of an engine revving at around 2 am on Tuesday morning, and police believe a vehicle has been used to pull the structure over.
The towering block on Glasgow Road was part of a £250,000 makeover to transform public spaces in Gretna and Springfield – but concerns had been expressed that its location imposes on the roadway, which has been narrowed, and it is not visible when approaching from Gretna.
Sergeant Eric Dunion, of Gretna Police, said: “It does appear that this is an act of vandalism and because of the size of the pillar it must have taken some effort to cause this damage.
“We are aware of a vehicle being heard revving in the area at around 2 am and would be keen to hear from anyone who may have been in the area to get in touch with us on 101 if they saw or heard anything which might help us catch those responsible.
“This on the face of it is a shocking piece of vandalism and it defies logic why anyone would go to the lengths they have to cause this amount of damage.”
The vandalism comes only months after a commemorative pear tree planted by Princess Anne to remember the victims of the Quintinshill rail disaster was also chopped down by vandals.
Springfield and Gretna Green Community Council chairman Isabell Tranter said: “We can’t understand why anybody would damage the pillar and it’s starting to cause some unrest in the village as it’s the second vandalism in a matter of months.
“We hope to re-erect it as soon as possible as it has been a senseless act of vandalism
for someone to pull it over.”
And a spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Council, who commissioned the work,
added: “We are currently investigating the circumstances that led to the gateway feature being damaged.