It’s Halloween on Saturday and many people, especially the younger ones amongst us, will be looking forward to the celebrations.
But some residents will already be feeling anxious about what Halloween night, and next week’s Bonfire Night, will bring.
West Yorkshire Police is asking people to stay safe and to consider the well-being of others over the next week or so. Neighbourhood Policing Teams will provide additional patrols during this period and special constables will work with police officers and police community support officers to provide extra cover.
Superintendent David Lunn from Protective Services said: “We are hoping that the public will work with us to help everyone enjoy the celebrations. We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun but are asking people to stay safe and to consider how their behaviour may affect others.
“Parents in particular should keep a close eye on what their children are doing. What some people see as a bit of harmless fun can cause a great deal of anxiety for vulnerable people and Halloween isn’t always an enjoyable time for everyone.”
For those who don’t want trick-or-treaters to call, the Force has created a ‘Sorry – no trick or treat’ poster to display. The poster can be downloaded by clicking here.
As well as displaying a ‘No trick or treat’ poster, residents can stay safe by making sure they have chains on their doors when answering calls and by not letting strangers into their homes. This is good advice for any time of the year, not just Halloween.
Supt Lunn went on to say, “Young people out ‘trick or treating’ should go out in groups, with younger children in particular accompanied by an adult. It’s best for groups to visit the homes of friends or neighbours instead of strangers. Young people should also remember that elderly or vulnerable residents may prefer not to be visited on Halloween night and we would ask parents to remind children of this, and ask them to look out for the ‘No trick or treat’ posters.
“We want everyone to have fun and stay safe so make sure your ‘tricks’ don’t go too far. Action will be taken against those involved in anti-social behaviour. Mischievous behaviour may actually be anti-social behaviour and more serious offences can result in heavy fines or even court action.”
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to be extra vigilant around candles and other naked flames, such as in lanterns and pumpkins.
Assistant Chief Officer, Dave Walton, Director of Service Delivery, said, “West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is fully supportive of the campaign to make fancy dress outfits safer for children to wear, following the terrible incident involving the daughter of presenter Claudia Winkleman last year. We would recommend you use the safer option of LED lights instead of candles, and keep children away from naked flames.”
Calls to the 999 number increase by as much as 30% on Halloween night so the emergency services are asking people to think twice before ringing 999, and reminding everyone that the 999 number for the police is for reporting emergencies or ongoing crimes only. For non-emergencies, please use the 101 if it is a matter for the police.
Often the answers to problems can be found online. West Yorkshire Police have recently launched a new web-based information and reporting facility called Clickb4ucall. At the click of a mouse, you can read about a range of issues including anti-social behaviour, animal welfare and noise nuisance. You’ll find out who deals with the problem, what can be done about it and how to report it. There’s even a section just for issues related to Halloween, just go to: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/clickb4ucall and click on the scary pumpkin icon.
As well as preparations for Halloween, many people will be making plans for Bonfire Night celebrations next week. You’re far safer attending an organised bonfire event but if you decide to have your own fireworks, please take a few precautions to stay safe.
Buy your fireworks from a reputable outlet and take careful note of the safety instructions that come with them. Remember that only those aged 18 or over can buy fireworks. If you have any concerns about a shop selling fireworks to people you believe are under 18, please contact your local neighbourhood policing team via the non-emergency 101 number.
So enjoy Halloween on Saturday and click here for more tips and safety advice. For specific advice leaflets on fire safety visit: www.westyorksfire.gov.uk For more information and advice via Twitter, follow West Yorkshire Police @WestYorksPolice and the Customer Contact Centre @WYP_CCC using #wyhalloween.