Northern Ireland

PSNI to name and shame those who skip court on Facebook

PSNI Crest Image copyright PSNI

The PSNI has announced it will post Wild West-style pictures of suspects who fail to appear in court on its Facebook page.

PSNI Craigavon has even mocked up a wanted poster with one of their own officers, jokingly claiming he is charged with the heinous crime of stealing hair gel.

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption PSNI mocked up this spoof Wild West style poster of Ch Insp Jon Burrows

Det Insp Jon Burrows is obviously not wanted for stealing hair gel, but is "leading the charge" against suspects who are wanted on bench warrants.

Bench warrants are issued when someone fails to appear at court.

Dubbed "Operation Relentless", the idea is to share pictures of offenders with Facebook followers in a bid to locate the missing suspects.

PSNI Craigavon explained: "Sometimes this is a first time failure to appear, sometimes they know what verdict is coming and do a runner. Either way, they're now wanted!

"If that is you, consider yourself on notice. We are coming for you."

From Monday 20 February anyone who still has an active bench warrant against them will be "fair game" for having their face and details shared online, the PSNI say.

The police have said until then they will be "knocking doors, phoning suspects, speaking to solicitors and following any other leads we have".

A final warning shot comes from the team behind the Facebook page: "The clue is in the name. We will be Relentless. Give it up."

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