Thursday 31 October marks this year’s Halloween, a time when young people like to dress up and have fun ‘Trick or Treating’ in their local communities.
Wiltshire Police and Swindon Community Safety Partnership (SCSP) are encouraging young people to be safe and respect others during Halloween to ensure that it can be enjoyed by everyone.
Parents and carers have an important role to play to help keep children and young people safe and encourage them to act responsibly in ‘Trick or Treating’ activities.
Richard Palusinski, Head of Community Safety at Swindon Community Safety Partnership, said: “We want people to have fun and enjoy Halloween.
"Taking part in ‘Trick or Treating’ is a great activity young people like to get involved in within their local communities. However, it is important that they understand the impact it can have on others.
"Working together with Wiltshire Police Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPT), we have plans in place to help tackle anti-social behaviour which includes liaising with key members of local communities and increasing patrols in targeted areas.”
In Swindon we have a number of local activities that young people can do so that they are not drawn into behaviour that may cause upset to others.
"Details can be found on Twitter @StreetGamesSN or via Facebook on ‘StreetGamesSwindon.”
Superintendent Matt Pullen Head of Local Policing South commented: “Halloween is an exciting time of the year and we want people to have fun and enjoy it. However, ‘Trick or Treating’ can cause distress and misery for some members of the public and it is important to highlight that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.
"We want to continue the downward trend in anti-social behaviour at this time of year and by following some simple advice, young people can minimise any distress they cause and reduce the likelihood of them being drawn into anti-social activities.”
Help keep Halloween an enjoyable and safe time for you and your family by following the simple Halloween code below:
• Always ‘Trick and Treat’ with an adult
• Parents/carers should ensure their children act sensibly
• Only visit a house where you, or the people you are with, know the occupants
• Do not knock on doors where there is a sign saying ‘Sorry no trick or treat here please’
• Stay in areas that are well lit with street lights. Take a torch with you just in case
• Stay with the people you are with – do not go off on your own
• Do not talk to strangers on the street
• Do not enter any h
ouse – stay on the door step
• Be careful not to frighten vulnerable people, especially the elderly
• Look carefully before crossing the road
• Don’t vandalise anything or throw things like eggs and flour. This type of behaviour will not be tolerated and you could end up getting into trouble with the police. Many people don’t realise that by throwing eggs and flour at someone’s property, they may be causing criminal damage – an offence which can result in a three month jail sentence or a fine of up to £2,500
• Young people who repeatedly disturb residents by door knocking are committing an offence under the Town and Police Clauses Act, which can carry a jail sentence of up to 14 days or a fine of up to £1,000. Targeting an individual with such objects can lead to a charge of assault, regardless of whether the objects make contact
• Penalty Notices for disorder can also be issued. Penalising offenders on the spot makes it more straightforward for officers and enables a faster response in tackling anti-social behaviour before it escalates
• Unexpected callers at the door can cause distress for some people, particularly the elderly. For people who do not want to receive ‘Trick or Treat’ callers a poster has been produced displaying in large font ‘Sorry, no trick or treat here please.’ The poster should be displayed in a prominent position either on the front door or front window. The posters can be downloaded from our website.
The poster is available to download on the Wiltshire Police website by visiting www.wiltshire.police.uk.