AN OUTDOOR picnic table used by hard-pressed medical centre staff to relax during breaks was stolen by brazen thieves.

Staff at the Harbours Medical Practice were left “saddened” after the picnic table was taken from a grassy area to the rear of the Cockenzie doctors' surgery on Thursday evening.

Jane Johnston, practice manager, said the practice had put the money together to buy the table.

She said: “It was for an outdoor meeting space and for the staff’s health and wellbeing so we could get some fresh air.”

Four youths were spotted carrying the picnic table away shortly after 8pm and police were alerted.

Miss Johnston told the Courier that the picnic table was “very heavy” and it had previously taken a couple of members of staff to move it.

She added: “It feels a bit disrespectful to the practice really.

“We are trying our hardest in the middle of a pandemic.

“It is our place to get a bit of fresh air and they had taken it when two doctors were still in the building, which seems a bit harsh.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 8.15pm on Thursday, September 24, we received a report of a theft of a bench from a premises in Avenue Road, Cockenzie. The bench was recovered and enquiries are ongoing."

Anyone with any information regarding the theft should contact the practice on 0300 790 6244 or Police Scotland on 101.