PEOPLE who fail to turn up for court may face an unwanted gift from the authorities.
Police are warning those who failed to turn up for court they may spend the festive season in a cell if they don't give themselves up before Christmas.
Western area Warrants and Enquiry Officer Val Jones said: 'Some people believe they can dodge penalties which magistrates might impose by not going to court. In fact, failing to appear is often a more serious offence than the original charge.
'In Cheshire, there are currently around 200 people wanted by the courts and magistrates have issued warrants for their arrest. This means that at any time of the night or day, a knock on the door may be the police.
'If you have a family they will see you being arrested. It's not the best present at this time of year.' Once a person has been arrested, all the relevant paperwork has to be completed before they are taken to court. Magistrates may decide a short prison sentence is in order. At this time of year it could mean a person spending Christmas in prison.
Even if magistrates don't send someone for a stint in jail, a person who is wanted could still face Christmas in a cell if they are arrested just before the festive season as magistrates are closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
This means an arrested person could spend that time in a cell waiting for courts to open so they can be dealt with.
Postcards are currently being sent to everyone who is wanted by the courts. They give instructions of how to go about turning themselves in and include the Western Area Warrants Office contact number which is 01244 616152. Calls are accepted from 8am-4pm.