COURT dodgers in Huddersfield got an unwelcome breakfast visit – from the police.
Officers from West Yorkshire Police’s operational support unit knocked on the doors of about 15 people wanted on warrants.
They visited addresses in Fartown, Moldgreen, Newsome, Primrose Hill, Birkby, Sheepridge, Lockwood, Stile Common, Deighton, Rawthorpe and Oakes.
Their targets were people suspected of a range of misdemeanours, including non-payment of fines, failing to turn up at court and breaching community orders.
Five people were arrested during the raids, as part of Operation Lightwater, yesterday.
Sgt Gary Fretwell, who led one of the teams, said: "We want to bring these people to justice.
"These are people who have been wanted for quite a long period of time and they make it their job to be evasive.
"It can have a dramatic impact on other offences across West Yorkshire."
The raids were part of ongoing efforts to crack down on domestic burglaries.
West Yorkshire has a disproportionate number of such offences compared to other force areas.
Sgt Fretwell added: "Even if the warrants themselves are for non-payment of fines or failing to turn up at court, they are often connected to burglaries, which have a big impact on residents. Houses are people’s sanctuaries and it’s an invasion of their lives."
He said a day devoted to rounding up people on warrants was a good use of police time.
"Quite often, if you don’t set a day aside to carry out these warrants you are trying to deal with them among everything else," he said.
"The individuals we arrest on days like this are then unavailable for other criminal activity.
"It also sends out a message to the public that we are taking this seriously."
Several similar days of action are taking place across West Yorkshire in the next fortnight.
The operation is being led by the force’s Criminal Justice Support (CJS) division alongside operational support
Supt Pat Casserly, of CJS, said: "This operation should send a simple, clear message to those people who fail to appear at court and think they can get away with it.
"We are always working to bring such offenders before the courts and during this operation, in addition to arrests, officers will be acting on intelligence to target such offenders at their homes or known whereabouts.
"The public should be reassured that we take this issue extremely seriously. Known criminals are a blight on the communities of West Yorkshire and we take positive action to get people back before the courts.
"While the operations will see officers going out to make arrests, people know if they are wanted or not, so offenders can save themselves and their families a lot of trouble by handing themselves in to us before we come knocking on doors."