Police hope to keep the horror out of Halloween

South Gloucestershire Police hope Halloween will hold no horrors for local people this year.

Officers have worked with schools, shops, the community and council to try to ensure people who want to celebrate the festival can do so safely, without causing problems for those who don’t.

South Gloucestershire Police District Superintendent Steve Jeffries said: “Traditionally, October 31 has been one of the busiest nights of the year for police across the country, with the potential for ‘trick or treating’ getting out of hand and leading to anti-social behaviour, damage and nuisance.

“Over the past few years we have been working hard with the council and other partners to try to tackle these problems as part of Operation Relentless, and we hope that this year we will continue to see a reduction in complaints about nuisance.”

Neighbourhood PCs and Police Community Support Officers across South Gloucestershire have visited schools and youth groups to give young people advice on staying safe and keeping out of trouble while trick or treating.

Local shops have agreed not to sell eggs and flour to children.

Neighbourhood Teams have also given vulnerable residents posters to display at home telling callers ‘sorry, no trick or treat here’.

Supt Jeffries said: “What may seem like harmless fun to one person can be distressing and frightening for the more vulnerable people in our communities. We want young people to have fun, but they must realise they will have to take responsibility for their actions if they go too far.”

He added that parents should ensure their children’s safety by:

  • Supervising younger children to make sure they don’t call on strangers
  • Knowing where teenagers are going and with whom
  • Making sure their children won’t call on anyone with a ‘sorry no trick or treat’ poster on display

On the night, police officers, PCSOs and Special Constables will be out on highly visible patrols on foot, bicycle and in vehicles responding to any reports of anti-social behaviour.

Officers have powers to confiscate eggs, flour and alcohol from children and to bar anyone aged 16 or over from specific areas for up to 48 hours to prevent alcohol-related crime and disorder.

Anyone experiencing problems can call police at any time on 0845 456 7000. Call 999 if someone could get hurt or a crime is happening at the time.

Source: Avon and Somerset Police

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