A NEW fast-track way to catch thieves and burglars has led to 115 arrests in Dewsbury in just three months.
Police across West Yorkshire are using a new scientific system, Operation Converter, to catch repeat offenders quickly.
It was launched in October and the latest figures from the police show that up to the end of December it led to the 115 arrests in Dewsbury and 159 offences being detected.
The West Yorkshire force has become the first in the country to introduce new ways of working to get the most out of forensic evidence recovered from crime scenes.
Officers then act quickly and more efficiently on the results.
Fingerprints, DNA, shoe-marks or photos recovered during investigations into crimes such as burglary and car theft are whisked to the force's Scientific Support Unit in Wakefield by courier for analysis.
They are swiftly processed and checked against databases to see if they are linked to a particular suspect.
As soon as the results are known, these scientific identifications are sent back to police stations, where they are followed up by a officers who work solely in investigating and making arrests on the basis of this evidence.
The Converter Team in Dewsbury consists of a detective sergeant, one detective constable and three constables.
Det Sgt Paul O'Dowd, who heads the team, said: "We are using this system day in and day out. This is one reason why it is working really well."
Det Supt Michael Fickling, head of the force's Scientific Support, said: "As a force, we have doubled the number of detections we are getting from science. We've also improved the amount of property returned to owners."