MORE than 2,000 people face imminent arrest in Huddersfield for not paying fines totalling £423,000.
And with a major blitz - the first of its kind in the country - under way from tomorrow to catch them they have been urged to pay up now.
People who do not pay fines imposed by Huddersfield magistrates face being arrested.
They are sent only one written reminder warning them they have not paid. The next reminder they will get is a court enforcement officer calling to arrest them.
The fines range from a £30 fixed- penalty notice for motoring offences through to fines for burglary.
Huddersfield has four court enforcement officers who go to people's homes to arrest them. They then take them straight to the magistrates' court or to a police station.
But throughout May, well over 30 extra such officers will be drafted in.
A single action day in Bradford in March led to 43 arrests - so the Huddersfield campaign is sure to lead to hundreds of arrests.
The police already go with court enforcement officers to arrest people who may be violent.
Enforcement office manager Ivan Tough said: "People who have not paid their fines should pay up immediately or face being arrested. If they have not paid we will arrest them.
"Even if they move from house to house, we have ways to track them down," said Mr Tough.
If people are arrested over a weekend they will be kept in the cells at the police station until magistrates hear their case on a Monday.
But if they pay up, they will be immediately released.
Collection and enforcement director Maureen Diamond said:
"If people genuinely have trouble paying their fines, they should contact us and we will do all we can to help them."
* Magistrates have a new weapon to make fine-dodgers pay up. They can take the money directly from an offender's benefits or salary.
* At the court by cash or cheque immediately after the case and the court usher will take them to a secure special post box on the court concourse to post it in. There is also a freephone at court to pay by credit or debit card.
* Credit or debit card
* Postal order
* Cash with an Allpay card
* Banker's Order
* Bank Giro Credit
* People who panic after reading this and want to pay immediately to prevent being arrested should contact the Huddersfield Warrant Office on 01484 517423 or 0113 307 6600.