No hiding place as police locate £37k fine defaulters

Police Scotland have revealed a major clampdown on wanted criminals with more than 350 warrants executed and 200 people arrested in just one week.

The Aberdeenshire and Moray division of the national force say that ‘Operation DEKA’ was instigated to “proactively target those wanted on warrant throughout the north and north-east of Scotland”.

During the first week of the operation, which was launched on September 1, fine defaulters with an accumulated debt of £37,459 have been located and dealt with. Police identified and arrested a total of 190 people wanted on warrant for outstanding crimes, failure to appear at court, failure to comply with court orders and non-payment of fines.

A total of 147 Apprehension Warrants were executed while 207 Warrants related to failure to pay fines. Of those arrested, a number related to crimes of violence and disorder, including assault and antisocial behaviour.

Assistant Chief Constable Campbell Thomson, who is responsible for policing in the North of Scotland, said: “The aim of this ongoing operation is to disrupt criminal activity, target criminals and prevent crime.

“This visible and robust enforcement has supported communities throughout the north and north-east of Scotland.

“Our activities though Operation DEKA will support the work we do day in day out to reduce the number of victims of crime and proactively focus on those criminals who are most prolific, commit most crime and cause the most issues within our communities.”

Sergeant Bruce Crawford of the Alcohol and Violence Reduction Unit (AVRU) for Aberdeenshire and Moray Division added: “Close working between the Community Policing Teams and specialist departments such as the National Flexible Policing Unit, Community Investigation Team and the AVRU in Aberdeenshire and Moray have produced these positive results for the first week.

“I am grateful to the public for information already received that has helped track down these wanted persons and ask that anyone with information regarding wanted persons gets in contact.

“With 24 people arrested for 45 warrants and over £12,000 of unpaid fines enforced in week one alone, this momentum will continue into week two and anyone who finds themselves wanted on warrant should seriously consider attending at a Police Office of their own volition to have the matter dealt with.”

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