The police and local councils are hoping to reduce the number of calls they receive on Halloween night by encouraging people to trick and treat only where they are welcome.
Last year the police received 112 non urgent calls about anti-social behaviour on October 31st - on average the force receives 68 calls a day about anti-social behaviour. This is however a 54% reduction compared to 2008 when the force took 247 calls in one night.
A joint campaign is being launched with the police, county council, city council and seven district councils to reduce the number of complaints about Halloween related anti-social behaviour. Double sided posters are being distributed with two messages: residents who want trick or treaters can display the message, ‘Trick or treaters welcome here,’ and those who don’t, can display the side that says, ‘No thanks.’
Assistant Chief Constable, Phil Kay, the Force’s lead on anti-social behaviour, said; “We do see a significant increase in calls relating to anti-social behaviour on Halloween night and we want to encourage trick and treaters to respect people’s wishes and not to knock on doors where they are not welcome. It is also important however to remember that there will be many young people knocking on doors in the spirit of Halloween and, if done in the right manner, that isn’t anti-social behaviour.
“We want to encourage residents to be tolerant of young people who are trick or treating but we wish to support residents who do experience genuine problems. We’d encourage parents to accompany young children and take time to talk to their older children about responsible trick or treating and to find out what their plans are for Halloween and where they are going to be.”
Extra officers will be patrolling on Halloween night, including Special Constables, and many will be conducting joint patrols with volunteers, colleagues from community safety partnerships and street pastors.” The posters can be picked up from front counters in police stations. They are also being put in libraries, council offices and community centres. Alternatively you can download a copy of the poster here.
A presentation encouraging children to understand what anti-social behaviour is and to show them how to enjoy Halloween sensibly without upsetting local people has been put together with the Youth Offending Service and has been sent to all schools in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to be delivered by teachers in classrooms and assemblies. Local councils are also running a series of Halloween related activities which will be advertised on their websites.
While we want people to enjoy the festivities on what is a fun time of year, we also need to ensure that vulnerable people in our communities feel safe and are reassured that agencies are working to ensure that people will not be knocking at their doors if they do not want them to” Partners will be tweeting helpful advice throughout the Halloween period using the hashtag #saferhalloweenLLR
For more information on the campaign, and to see the posters, visit: http://www.leics.gov.uk/index/community/yjsc/community_safety-2/asb/safetyathalloween.htm
Anyone who wants to report anti-social behaviour in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland can call Leicestershire Police on 101* or Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous, on 0800 555 111. * Calls to 101 cost 15p for the entire call from both mobile phones and land lines Please note some mobile phone service providers may charge for this call.
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Neighbourhood Watch schemes are community initiatives that are supported by the police but not owned or run by them.
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