Halloween advice for a safe night
Halloween will soon be upon us and generally it is a great time for children to dress up, have parties and play 'trick or treat'.
The majority of 'trick or treaters' are harmless, supervised by adults, and will not cause any problems if residents do not wish to take part.
However, each year a few people throw raw eggs or flour at houses and there is an increase in anti-social behaviour during the evening. This can be distressing for elderly or vulnerable residents.
Police in West Oxfordshire are working with local shop keepers and schools to reduce the incidents of nuisance and criminal damage that happens at this time of year.
Crime Reduction Adviser Bill Butcher said: "Parents can help to reduce this problem by ensuring that your children do not buy eggs, flour, tomato sauce, and other items which could be used to cause trouble.
"Some shops will be displaying posters this year stating that they reserve the right not to serve people under the age of 16 with such items.
"I would also ask parents to ensure their children don't take these items out with them from your home."
Police will be running an operation over the Halloween and bonfire night period, which involves extra patrols employed specifically to target those people who cause criminal damage and anti-social behaviour.
Bill added: "Always remember that those intent on going out at Halloween or bonfire night to throw eggs and other substances at houses and cars could be committing an act of criminal damage which is an arrestable offence.
"Fireworks are extremely dangerous and anyone intent on using them to cause damage or distress or alarm to others will be dealt with by the Police."
Advice for residents who do not wish to be disturbed on Halloween:
- Display a Thames Valley Police Card that says "no trick or treat". These are available from local police stations, libraries, and many local shops or download it from www.thamesvalleypolice.co.uk
- Don't open your door if you are unsure who is there. Use your spy hole, look out of a window, and use your door chain if you decide to open your door
- Have a contact number of a close relative or good neighbour to hand by your telephone, just in case you need to phone them
- If you feel threatened or vulnerable call the police on 0845 8 505 505
- If you are in a Neighbourhood Watch scheme let your co-ordinator know that you will be on your own at Halloween. Likewise if you are a co-ordinator you can identify people within your scheme that may be vulnerable, and offer them some reassurance
- In an emergency phone the police on ‘999’
Police also recommend that children out Trick or Treating follow the safety guidelines:
- Always take an adult with you or tell an adult where you are going
- Never knock on a stranger's door
- Never go out on your own; always go with friends or family
- If someone says no thank you or doesn't open the door to you they are probably frightened, so walk away and don't be a nuisance to them
- Don't disturb someone displaying a notice that says "no trick or treat"
- Never accept an invitation to go into house
- Avoid dark and lonely places
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