Halloween is just around the corner (Tuesday 31 October) and we are encouraging young people to be safe and respect others if they are out and about in local communities trick or treating.
We’re asking parents and carers to be sure they know where their children are over the Halloween period and that they know to act responsibly.
If you or someone you know is ‘trick or treating’ this Halloween, we have these top tips:
- Always trick or treat accompanied by an adult
- Only visit houses where you know the occupants and know they’re happy for people to call
- Do not knock on doors where there’s a sign saying ‘Sorry no trick or treat here please’
- Stay safe, keep to well-lit areas with street lights and don’t take short cuts through gardens, alleyways or parks. Take a torch and a charged mobile phone with you just in case
- Do not enter any house – stay on the door step
- Be careful not to frighten vulnerable people, especially the elderly
- Watch out for traffic. If you’re wearing a mask, make sure that you can see where you are going and are aware of your surroundings
Superintendent Phil Staynings, Head of Crime Prevention said: “We want everyone to enjoy Halloween in a safe and responsible way that does not cause any problems in our communities. Stay safe when walking around after dark, be conscious of traffic and busy roads and stay with the people you are with. Remember unexpected callers at the door can cause distress and be frightening for some people, particularly the elderly. So carefully consider which doors you knock on if you are ‘trick or treating’.”
If at any point you do feel nervous or unsafe at home over the Halloween period:
- Don’t open your door if you’re unsure who is there. Use your spy-hole, look out of a window and use your door chain if you do decide to open your door
- Have a contact number of a close relative or good neighbour by your telephone, just in case you need to phone them
- If you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, let your coordinator know that you will be on your own at Halloween. If you are a coordinator, please identify people in your scheme that may be vulnerable and offer them reassurance.
During the Halloween period, Community Policing Teams across the force area will be undertaking high visibility patrols to help prevent anti-social behaviour.
Swindon South Community Policing Team Sergeant Dave Tippetts said: “Swindon officers will be conducting high visibility patrols over the Halloween period to ensure it runs safely and smoothly for our community. We take all reports of anti-social behaviour seriously and they will be dealt with robustly. Any incidents of anti-social behaviour can be reported to police on 101 or 999 in an emergency or if a crime is in progress.”
Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: “Halloween can be great fun, especially for young people. However, for some it can be a frightening time so it’s important we look after the most vulnerable people in our communities and follow the advice issued by Wiltshire Police.”
Wiltshire Police ‘No trick or treat’ posters are available for you to display if you don’t want trick or treaters at your door this Halloween. The poster can be displayed in your home, or homes of any neighbours or relatives. It should be displayed in a prominent position either on the front door or front window.