Halloween and Bonfire Night crime prevention and safety awareness campaign

Cheerful children in halloween costumes posing over dark background.
Cheerful children in halloween costumes posing over dark background.

It’s that time of year again when we get the fancy dress costumes out, children get ready going out trick or treating and folks decorate their homes and gardens - all in name of Halloween. Humberside Police have to consider though, that not everyone wants to be involved in the festivities and that there may be times when, what seems innocent enough to some people, can bring real fear and worry to the homes of some residents across the region.

Humberside Police are carrying out their annual campaign to run over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period to help combat burglary offences, reduce incidents of anti social behaviour and provide advice and support to local communities.

The Humberside Police website and Facebook page will be featuring crime prevention advice, a printable copy of the “Sorry no trick or treat” posters the “Haunter’s Code” and a poster specifically aimed at preventing youngsters buying eggs and flour from shops on the run up to Halloween and Mischief Night.

“Sorry no trick or treat” posters will also be available from local police officers for those who do not wish to be disturbed on Halloween.

Alongside the posters, officers from neighbourhood policing teams will be going out and speaking to schools across the force about anti-social behaviour and encouraging youngsters to enjoy the festivities without becoming a nuisance in their neighbourhood.

Parents and carers are asked to keep children safe and know where they are and what they are doing. Mischief Night is not a license to cause criminal damage.

Retailers are reminded of their responsibility not to sell flour and eggs to youngsters on the run up to Halloween and Mischief Night.

Fireworks, including sparklers, can only be purchased from registered sellers for private use between 15 October to 10 November. At other times fireworks can only be bought from licensed shops. You can be fined up to £5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90. Shops that sell fireworks are reminded that it is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 18.

Humberside Police Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Rick Proctor said: “lots of people enjoy this time of year, especially children but it is important that we consider those who don’t want to be involved. These people are normally the elderly and vulnerable members of our communities.

“Sadly we do have a minority of people wanting to spoil the fun for others. It is these people who we target to try and make the festivities fun for everyone.”

“This time of year can be very busy for Humberside Police especially those who work as part of our Neighbourhood and Incident Response teams, so please do think about how important that call is that you make to us. The number of calls for service we receive could have an impact on our response times so please bear this in mind.”

Humberside Police would like to offer the following crime prevention advice to people for Halloween. By following this simple advice you could prevent yourself from becoming a victim of crime.

* If you do not wish to be disturbed on Halloween then please display the Humberside Police “Sorry no trick or treat” poster in your window and/or on your door. This will let those people who are out and about taking part in the festivities know that you do not wish to be disturbed.

* Are you taking your child/children out trick or treating or to a bonfire display? If so please don’t make your home a target for a burglar. An opportunist thief will know that people will be out and about leaving their homes empty. Make it look like you have somebody at home and NEVER leave valuables on display.

* If you are driving, then make sure that you don’t leave anything on display when you leave your vehicle. Thieves work under the cover of darkness and will damage your vehicle to get to anything you might leave on the seats or footwell.

* Make sure your children are safe and be aware that there will be a number of people out and about between peak hours of 4pm to 8pm.

* Please be aware that during Halloween, and the nights running up to it, calls to police, especially in relation to ASB, can be significantly higher than normal. This may increase the call answering times so please be aware of this.

* THINK do you really need to call the police? Calls for service are generally higher around this time of year so please consider if it is the police you really need and just how important is it?