Police to tackle anti-social behaviour this Halloween

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It’s almost Halloween and Northamptonshire police are asking people to respect those older people who find it a difficult and worrying time.

In the lead up to celebrations, members of Northamptonshire Police’s safer community teams have been visiting schools to speak to young people about the importance of staying safe. The officers are keen that the youngsters stay safe and enjoy the season but the talks also concentrated on the fact that for many people – older people in particular – it can be a worrying time.

As this week is also ACPO ‘In Focus – Anti-Social Behaviour Week’, tackling anti-social behaviour is a priority for the force and it is hoped that people can enjoy themselves while also respecting other people who do not wish to get involved.

Police officers, PCSOs and special constables have been visiting schools giving an interactive presentation on trick or treating and how to keep safe on Bonfire Night. They have also been distributing posters and leaflets to retailers, community centres, shops, doctor’s surgeries and churches.

The mobile police station has also been out and about across the county allowing officers to use it as a base to speak to members of the public.

Chief Inspector Tom Thompson is in charge of the police operation for Halloween and Bonfire Night.

He said: “Tackling anti-social behaviour is a year-long priority but its prominence increases in the days and weeks around Halloween and Bonfire Night.

“This time of year demands a certain degree of tolerance. Not everyone likes trick or treating and not everyone feels it has a place in our communities in the UK. But it’s now part of our culture and we should expect children to be in high spirits at this time.

“That being said, it’s important that police, parents, schools do our bit to teach young people to recognise that not everyone considers trick or treating fun and for some, having unsolicited callers at their door after dark can be frightening. It’s a balance of tolerance and respect.

“Everyone has the right to go about their daily life without the threat of being a victim of anti-social behaviour. One person’s fun should never be another’s misery.”

Posters are available to download from northants.police.uk which can be used by people who do not want trick or treat callers. There is also a Halloween school pack which includes classroom activities and a word search.

As well as Halloween materials there is also safety advice for Bonfire Night, including details of the law concerning the use of fireworks.

Chief Inspector Thompson added: “Our main priority over the next week is to make sure everyone enjoys Halloween and Bonfire Night safely and so we have also prepared some tips to help people successfully enjoy the fireworks.

“You must be over 18 to buy fireworks and it is an offence to throw or let-off a firework in a street or public place. Our advice is to go to a publically organised fireworks display and enjoy the spectacle without the safety concerns of organising your own event.”

This Halloween follow Norhtamptonshire Polices’ safety tips...

- Don’t knock on doors displaying a ‘No Trick or Treat’ sign

- Always go trick or treating with an adult

- Plan your route – only go to places where you and your friends know the residents

- Keep visible – stay in areas that are well lit and take a torch

- Don’t talk to strangers on the street

- Don’t go inside any house

- Be careful crossing the road

- Although Halloween is supposed to be spooky, be careful not to frighten vulnerable people

Remember, remember, on the 5th November…

- You must be over 18 to buy fireworks

- It is illegal to possess fireworks in a public place if you’re under 18

- It is an offence to throw or let-off a firework in a street or public place

- If you let off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, you will be breaking the law (except on Bonfire Night when it extends to midnight)

- Don’t forget your pets! Keep them safe indoors