EXTRA police are on patrol to catch youngsters playing truant from school.
Officers have teamed up with Kirklees Education Service to clamp down on youngsters who stay away from their classrooms in Huddersfield and Dewsbury.
A campaign called Attendance Watch is under way which aims to reduce the number of children who are out of school without permission - even if they are with their parents.
Education social work teams have joined police on horseback and other officers on high-visibility sweeps in areas known to be popular with truants.
The extra police have been made available through the Target initiative, West Yorkshire Police's biggest-ever clampdown on crime and the fear of crime.
Target Chief Insp Mark Busley said: "Truancy can lead to anti-social behaviour and crime.
"While absent from the safe school environment, there is also a chance that children could become victims of crime themselves.
"We need to build positive relationships with young people to prevent this from happening.
"Truancy is taken seriously and children should not be out of school without good reason," added Chief Insp Busley.
The extra patrols will carry on into December.
Lorraine Absolon, of the Education Social Work Team, said: "High-visibility truancy sweeps aim to protect children and discourage them from missing classes.
"This joint approach between the local authority, police and parents will help to ensure that children are in school, where they can make the most of their educational opportunities."
Posters are being put in bus shelters and shops to support the scheme.
They reinforce the Less School Less Chances message and will encourage children to think twice before choosing truancy over education.
Leaflets will also be distributed to shops and parents, outlining the scheme's aims and how the community can help.
The 1998 Crime and Disorder Act gave police extra powers to return truanting pupils to school.