A NEW community action policing team has been launched in the Borders today.

The seven-strong group will include six constables and a sergeant to target issues such as anti-social behaviour and illegal parking.

The team has been working since the start of April but was unveiled today at the headquarters of Scottish Borders Council, which is helping to fund the scheme through a £282,000 investment.

SBC and Police Scotland have agreed a joint process, which will see the officers reporting to the Local Area Commander – Andy McLean.

Chief Inspector McLean said: "This is a really welcome and exciting joint venture between Scottish Borders Council and Police Scotland.

"This team will not be used to attend routine calls and as such will be a dedicated community resource to address local issues wherever they may occur across the Borders.

"The team will work in partnership and complement the existing police resource, but will be able to concentrate on specific issues that are identified through the joint tasking process."

The project was included in this year's council budget.

And elected members are delighted to see it get under way.

Councillor Watson McAteer, chairman of Police, Fire and Rescue and Safer Communities Board, said: £This is an exciting new partnership that aims to tackle lower level crimes which affect people right across the Borders."

Councillor Shona Haslam, leader of SBC, added: "Our council budget announced in February focussed on intervention, prevention and innovation.

"The introduction of the new community policing team fulfils all three aims, and we believe will make a significant difference to the lives of people in the Borders."