EAST Lothian Council tenants with posters on their windows warning residents to be on the alert for a “sex offender” have been ordered to take them down or risk losing their homes.

Residents of a Dunbar street put up anti-sex offender warnings to parents to “be vigilant” following rumours that a known paedophile was moving into a neighbouring house.

But they said that they were warned by the police and council officials to remove the signs.

East Lothian Council confirmed that it had asked some of its tenants to remove posters that were considered “offensive”.

A spokesman said: “It is part of a council tenant’s tenancy agreement not to publicly display material that may alarm or offend other residents.

“The housing team is aware of a number of tenants in the Dunbar area that displayed posters that we considered to be in breach of these guidelines and as such were asked to remove them.”

The row broke out after residents of James Court displayed signs in their windows declaring the street a “no sex offenders” zone.

Some signs, which remained in view last week, read: “Caution – Be vigilant, keep your child safe.”

The posters appeared after rumours swept the community that a sex offender was moving into the street.

The man has already been at the centre of a storm in the town after he was spotted dropping off and collecting a child from a school nursery in July, sparking protests from parents.

They threatened to boycott the school unless he was barred from entering the playground or building.

The man in question was convicted of abusing two young girls several years ago and was jailed for more than a year.

Police are understood to have told residents of James Court that the man will not be moving to their street.

However, a number of residents have taken to social media to question the reassurances.

And they criticised officers and the council for approaching them and cautioning them about putting posters and warnings on their own homes.

One woman said: “I’ve been warned by police about naming and shaming him, yet he is allowed to move freely in our community.

“It seems he gets more protection than we and our children get.”