Five people handed themselves into a Northamptonshire police station as part of a Christmas ‘clear your conscience’ day and nine people were later arrested.
Wellingborough Police opened up the station’s custody cells on Thursday, with a message to criminals to own up to their crimes or face being arrested on Christmas Day.
Christmas cards were also sent to people wanted for offences such as theft and burglary. The cards contained the message, ‘if you spoil someone else’s Christmas, we’re ready to spoil yours”.
Wellingborough Sector Inspector, Paul Valentine, said: “My message to offenders was this: call and see us or face arrest at any time of the day or night – including Christmas Day.
“This didn’t mean offenders were dealt with any differently if they handed themselves in, it just meant they had the chance to control when that is.
“It’s an unusual approach, but it worked. We are estimating that in excess of 20 crimes will be detected as a result of yesterday’s activity,” he said.
A police spokesman said: “The move was part of a countywide bid to keep incidents of theft, robbery and criminal damage to a minimum over the Christmas and New Year period.
“Initiatives on retail crime, opportunist theft, street drinking and begging have been drawn up as part of Operation Lapland, the Force’s operation to drive down Christmas crime.”