Agencies take action to keep communities safe this half-term
Community Safety agencies will be stepping up action to keep
The police in
The Community Safety Partnership (CSP), in association with youth centres across the town, has also organised a programme of activities for young people at the Link Centre on Saturday (30 Oct) between 6pm and 10pm as an alternative to trick or treating.
Cheri Wright, Anti-social Behaviour Manager for the Swindon Community Safety Partnership, said: “This can be a distressing time of year for some people particularly those who do not want trick or treaters at their door. We would strongly urge people to read the advice we have provided and ensure this Halloween is a safe and enjoyable for everyone.”
The Community Safety Partnership offers the following advice to both people intending to do trick or treating and the wider community:
Halloween code for Trick or Treaters
· Parents/carers should ensure their children act sensibly
· Always trick or treat with an adult
· Only visit a house where you or the people you are with know the resident
· 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 house – stay on the door step
· Be careful not to frighten vulnerable people, especially the elderly
· Look carefully before crossing the road
Other key messages:
· For people who do not want to receive ‘Trick or Treat’ callers, a poster has been produced displaying the words ‘Sorry, no trick or treat here please’. It is large enough for all callers to read and should be displayed in a prominent position either on the front door or front window.
· 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 in trouble with the police. By doing this you 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.
· Penalty Notices for Disorder can also be issued which carry a fine of up to £80, which make it quicker and more straightforward for officers to penalise offenders on the spot, and hopefully tackle anti-social behaviour before it escalates.
Wiltshire Police have produced a poster for people who do not want to receive ‘Trick or Treat’ callers, which can be downloaded from the Wiltshire Police website www.wiltshire.police.uk or by calling 0845 408 7000.
Inspector Peter Chamberlain, from Swindon Police, said: “Halloween can be a fun and enjoyable time providing people behave responsibility and within the law. By following the advice given people can help to minimise the effect this time of year can have on those members of our communities who can become distressed and frightened when unknown callers knock at their doors.
“While levels of anti-social behaviour have been low over the last couple of years we know it can increase at this time of year and working with partner agencies we have plans in place to help tackle this including increased patrols in targeted areas and continuing engagement with key groups by members of our Neighbourhood Policing Teams.”
In the run-up to Bonfire Night, Swindon Borough Council’s Trading Standards department will be visiting firework retailers to inspect safe storage, to advise on underage sales, and to ensure that statutory signage is displayed. Staffwill also undertake test purchasing to ensure fireworks are not sold to those under the permitted age.