BOSSES at Police Scotland have launched an internal investigation following allegations of confidential information being leaked.

The move follows a spate of violence and disorder in Peebles towards the end of last year.

And efforts by community leaders to hold the force to account about what they claimed was a lack of action.

Although Police Scotland wouldn't discuss the details of the probe, a spokesperson confirmed an investigation was under way.

They said: "We are conducting an internal investigation following an allegation of misconduct relating to a member of police staff in the Borders area in December 2019.

"Enquiries are ongoing."

Strong criticism was made about a lack of officers from both Police Scotland and the local authority-financed Community Action Team, as well as response times, during October and November.

Gangs of youths were blamed for several assaults as well as acts of vandalism and the terrorising of dog walkers in Haylodge Park.

But it's now claimed that confidential information may have been used to condemn the force during the rows.

One insider told us: "A lot of information the police have about its operations is confidential.

"Police Scotland want to know if sensitive, classified operational data was passed on."

Chairman of Peebles Community Council Les Turnbull, who is a former Superintendent of an English police force, led the criticism during several meetings.

And during the November meeting, the Area Commander for the Scottish Borders, Chief Inspector Stuart Reid, along with one of his sergeants, was held to account by Mr Turnbull and his Community Council colleagues.

Mr Turnbull is adamant that no confidential police data was ever accessed or used during the discussions.

He told us: "The issue of police presence has been an ongoing concern for the people of Peebles for many months.

"As Community Council chair I have been in regular correspondence with the police to see what they could do to mitigate the situation.

"There has never been a move by me or any community councillor, that I am aware of, requesting or accessing on-going confidential police material. This simply isn't the case."

Since the talks in November, both the Community Action Team and Police Scotland have targeted the town.

And following raids and arrests, reported crime rates have fallen in recent weeks.

Cops close in on Gangs & 101 call concerns - Page 9