Lothian and Borders Police are sending Christmas card reminders to members of the public who are the subject of an outstanding warrant.

Officers in the North of Edinburgh have been targeting any individuals who are required to either pay their court-ordered fines or who have had an arrest warrant issued .

Those who are known to live in the North of the city will receive this reminder over the next month and are urged to settle any warrants as soon as possible or they may face further police action over the festive period.

The Christmas card reminder has previously been used within the city to good effect. Last year around 600 cards were sent to petty criminals who had failed to turn up in court, ignored fixed penalties or defaulted on fine payments. The pilot scheme ran in 2010 and the results have so far proved positive.

Safer Neighbourhood Team Officers from Leith and Drylaw Police Stations will be actively looking people subject of a warrant, so they are advising them to take responsibility in order to ensure that their festive plans do not involve the police.

With the courts not operating over the public holidays, anyone arrested risks the possibility of spending Christmas Day and Boxing Day in the cells at St Leonards, where the chances of some festive cheer are non-existent.

Inspector Kevin McLean said: “The festive period is a busy time for our communities as they get ready for the Christmas and New Year Celebrations.

“However, while we appreciate that the public have many things to deal with at this time, it is essential that those who currently have an outstanding warrant against their name come forward and settle these.

“Failure to do so may result in your arrest and the possibility of spending time in police custody as opposed to time with friends and family.”