People celebrating Halloween and Bonfire night across Suffolk this year are being urged to keep their tricks within the law and treat residents to a show of respect as police step-up patrols across the county.
Suffolk Constabulary officers will be working with residents, partner agencies and local businesses aiming to make sure that celebrations are safe and enjoyable for everyone. Additional officers will be on duty for what can be one of the busiest periods of the policing calendar.
Last year, Suffolk Police received 197 calls regarding Halloween related issues and this is something they are keen to reduce this year.
“It is important to remember that some people can be intimidated by unknown people knocking at their door, especially when it is dark, so if you are out trick-or-treating please make sure you only visit people that you know.”
Chief Inspector Matt Rose
Matt Rose, Chief Inspector, Community Safety, Suffolk Constabulary said: “We want everyone to have a fun night but we also want to ensure everyone is safe as well. Halloween is not an excuse for anyone to commit anti-social behavior.
“It is important to remember that some people can be intimidated by unknown people knocking at their door, especially when it is dark, so if you are out trick-or-treating please make sure you only visit people that you know.
“We would like to see a reduction in calls relating to Halloween, so we’d ask people to follow our safety advice which includes never going trick-or-treating alone, staying in well-lit areas, and not going inside the houses of strangers.
“We’d urge people to follow the same advice for Bonfire night – have fun, stay safe and respect residents in their neighbourhood. We would recommend people attend organised firework and bonfire events if they can as the appropriate levels of safety will be in place.”
Retailers across the county are being reminded of the legal requirements when it comes to selling fireworks and are being encouraged to restrict the sale of eggs and flour to young people in the run up to Halloween. Local officers will be visiting schools to help pupils understand that what they believe to be fun can be frightening and intimidating to other people. A poster is available from the police for shopkeepers, stating that they will not be selling eggs or flour to under-16s at the end of October.
Posters are available for members of the public to display in their windows, one welcoming trick-or-treaters and another asking not to be disturbed. Police urge children and their parents to be mindful that some of the more vulnerable or elderly members of the community do not wish to participate in Halloween activities and in fact may feel intimidated by groups of people calling at their doors.
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said, “Trick-or-treating can be great fun, and I don’t want to spoil that fun, but I would ask that those taking part keep themselves safe and be respectful to others.
“For those on the receiving end of trick-or-treaters, particularly the old and vulnerable, it can be quite a upsetting experience. By all means, enjoy yourselves and have fun, but please give some thought to those who don’t want to join in. The safest option is to only visit people you know.”
If you do have any concerns, please call 999 in an emergency, or call 101 for non-emergency assistance.
The posters can be downloaded from the Suffolk Police website where further advice can also be found: http://www.suffolk.police.uk/safetyadvice/halloweensafety/halloweenposters.aspx